Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Analysis of socio-economic aspects of local and national organic farming markets; final report for Defra

Contents:

Author Info

  • Lobley, Matt
  • Butler, Allan J.
  • Courtney, Paul
  • Ilbery, Brian
  • Kirwan, James
  • Maye, Damian
  • Potter, Clive
  • Winter, Michael
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to take a fresh look at the nature of organic production, consumption and marketing in England and Wales in order to better assess its current and likely contribution to rural development and its ability to meet consumer expectations. Based on a mixed methodological approach the study consulted with 2,300 individuals to reveal a complex and multi-dimensional sector with a highly committed consumer base. The research aimed to describe and account for: (1)The socio-economic impacts of the organic farm supply chains on rural development; (2)The extent to which organic food delivers consumer expectations; and (3) The barriers affecting conversion to organic farming and expansion of existing organic farms. The research reported here is arguably one of the most integrated studies of organic consumption, production and marketing conducted to date. It throws new light on the nature of organic consumption, underlining both the on-going commitment of the majority of committed organic consumers and the gap in perceptions, degrees of ‘brand trust’ and price sensitivity between this group and the majority of consumers who rarely or never buy organic. While this degree of commitment suggests that recent declines in organic consumption may not be sustained and will soon hit a floor, this finding also points to difficulties, particularly in a time of recession, in enrolling new consumers into organic networks, particularly via the direct marketing channels that smaller producers are more likely to depend on. This group of producers, locally embedded and linked to consumers via short supply chains, fulfil the expectations of many organic consumers and exemplify the idea of alternative food producers. Managed by self selecting, entrepreneurial farmers, these organic producers make a valuable contribution towards employment and income generation within the local rural economy. As our broader analysis of food chains and multiplier effects across the regional and national rural economy shows, however, it is the large scale producers, concerned with the production of bulk commodities and integrated into long supply chains, that inevitably account for the main rural employment and income benefits of the organic sector, if measured in aggregate terms. While there is a good case to be made for the rural development benefits of organic farming, it is important to recognise these scale effects and their geographically uneven distribution in any policy assessment.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/90374
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Exeter, Centre for Rural Policy Research in its series Research Reports with number 90374.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Jul 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ags:uexrrr:90374

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Lafrowda House, St Germans Road, Exeter EX4 6TL
    Phone: 01392 263836
    Web page: http://www.centres.ex.ac.uk/crpr/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Organic markets; Organic farming; Organic consumers; Rural Economy; Multiplier Analysis; Simple Value Chains; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Farm Management; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Marketing;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Meyer-Höfer, Marie von & Nitzko, Sina & Spiller, Achim, 2013. "Expectation Gaps and Halo-Effects in Organic Food Positioning: Characteristics of Organic Food from a Consumer’s Point of View," Discussion Papers 160420, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:uexrrr:90374. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.