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Short Food Supply Chains and Local Food Systems in the EU. A State of Play of their Socio-Economic Characteristics

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Abstract

The present study aims at describing the state-of-play of short food supply chains (SFSC) in the EU understood as being the chains in which foods involved are identified by, and traceable to a farmer and for which the number of intermediaries between farmer and consumer should be minimal or ideally nil. Several types of SFSCs can be identified, for example CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture), on-farm sales, off-farm schemes (farmers markets, delivery schemes), collective sales in particular towards public institutions, being mostly local / proximity sales and in some cases distance sales. Such type of food chain has specific social impacts, economic impacts at regional and farm level as well as environmental impacts translating themselves into a clear interest of consumers. SFSCs are present throughout the EU, although there are some differences in the different MS in terms of dominating types of SFSCs. In general, they are dominantly small or micro-enterprises, composed of small-scale producers, often coupled to organic farming practices. Social values (quality products to consumers and direct contact with the producer) are the values usually highlighted by SFSCs before environmental or economic values. In terms of policy tools, there are pros and cons in developing a specific EU labelling scheme which could bring more recognition, clarity, protection and value added to SFSCs, while potential costs might be an obstacle. Anyhow, a possible labelling scheme should take into account the current different stages and situations of development of SFSCs in the EU and be flexible enough accommodate these differences. Other policy tools, in particular training and knowledge exchange in marketing and communication are considered important and should continue to be funded by Rural Development programmes, as well as possibly other EU funds in view of the positive social and not specifically rural impacts.

Suggested Citation

  • Moya Kneafsey & Laura Venn & Ulrich Schmutz & Balász Bálint & Liz Trenchard & Trish Eyden-Woods & Elizabeth Bos & Gemma Sutton & Matthew Blackett, 2013. "Short Food Supply Chains and Local Food Systems in the EU. A State of Play of their Socio-Economic Characteristics," JRC Working Papers JRC80420, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
  • Handle: RePEc:ipt:iptwpa:jrc80420
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    File URL: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC80420
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    Cited by:

    1. Magali Aubert & Geoffroy Enjolras, 2016. "Which stability for marketing channels? The case of short food supply chains in French agriculture," Post-Print hal-01404562, HAL.
    2. Kuhmonen, Tuomas, 2017. "Exposing the attractors of evolving complex adaptive systems by utilising futures images: Milestones of the food sustainability journey," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 214-225.
    3. Anne Fournier,, 2016. "Direct-selling farming and urban externalities: what impact on products quality and market size?," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 16-05, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    4. Sergio Schneider & Natália Salvate & Abel Cassol, 2016. "Nested Markets, Food Networks, and New Pathways for Rural Development in Brazil," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-19, November.
    5. Alexandra Doernberg & Ingo Zasada & Katarzyna Bruszewska & Björn Skoczowski & Annette Piorr, 2016. "Potentials and Limitations of Regional Organic Food Supply: A Qualitative Analysis of Two Food Chain Types in the Berlin Metropolitan Region," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-20, November.
    6. Filippini, R. & Marraccini, E. & Lardon, S., 2016. "Understanding networks in local food systems: the meeting of farmers and commercial actors," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 244782, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Lucian TĂNASĂ & Sebastian DOBOŞ & Ioan-Sebastian BRUMĂ, 2016. "Merchandizing Agri-Food Products By Means Of Short Food Supply Chains In Mureş County," Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Institute of Agricultural Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 35-57.
    8. Francesca Galli & Fabio Bartolini & Gianluca Brunori & Luca Colombo & Oriana Gava & Stefano Grando & Andrea Marescotti, 2015. "Sustainability assessment of food supply chains: an application to local and global bread in Italy," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    9. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:11:p:1981-:d:117013 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bimbo, Francesco & Bonanno, Alessandro & Nardone, Gianluca & Viscecchia, Rosaria, 2015. "The Hidden Benefits of Short Food Supply Chains: Farmers’ Markets Density and Body Mass Index in Italy," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 18(1).

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    Keywords

    sustainable agriculture; rural development; CAP; food labelling; quality agricultural products; short food supply chain; local products; direct sales;

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