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Alternative marketing options for small-scale farmers in the wake of changing agri-food supply chains in South Africa

Listed author(s):
  • Louw, Andre
  • Jordaan, Daniel du Plessis Scheepers
  • Ndanga, Leah Z.B.
  • Kirsten, Johann F.

With South Africa’s urban population approaching 60%, supermarkets and fast food chains have become important players in the South African food system. These large players in the food sector have systematically modified their procurement practices especially with regard to fresh fruit and vegetables and are now circumventing spot markets in favour of sourcing via in-house sourcing companies who mainly procure from preferred supplier producers. This paper draws extensively from a global research programme which seeks to highlight the market changes that potentially contribute to continued exclusion of the small producers from mass consumer markets. This paper illustrates, through a series of case studies, how integration of small-scale farmers into the urban retail market can be facilitated and how the challenges posed by the changing food system could possibly be overcome. The case studies illustrate various initiatives through which small-scale farmers and agribusinesses can be integrated into mainstream agri-food systems and may be used as models for an innovative approach to include small-scale farmers while still maintaining profitable business operations. They highlight the need for a multi actor approach for the successful participation of smallholder farmers in order to allow them to join the supply chain at any point within the channel.

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Article provided by Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) in its journal Agrekon.

Volume (Year): 47 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)

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Handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:44025
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  1. Dave D. Weatherspoon & Thomas Reardon, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa: Implications for Agrifood Systems and the Rural Poor," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21, pages 333-355, 05.
  2. Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer & Christopher B. Barrett & Julio Berdegué, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1140-1146.
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