Local food systems in Walloon Region (Belgium): definition and trends in supply and demand
Local food systems are one solution to promote local products in different ways and particularly by bringing together producers and consumers. This paper follows different purposes. The term "local food systems" will be defined as systems mobilizing not more than one intermediate person in a local area, where the exchanges must be monetized and where a relationship between the producer and the consumer is established. Then, a classification of the various initiatives of local food systems will be proposed. Thereafter the results of two studies conducted in the Walloon Region will be presented. The first study was conducted in Wallonia and Brussels in 2010 by the CRIOC to assess consumers' perceptions and expectations of local products marketing using local food systems. The second one was conducted in 2010 to establish an inventory of local food systems in the Province of Namur. It had four main objectives: to describe categories of local food systems used, to give an overview of products supply, to understand main difficulties encountered by producers and to give benchmarks for the installation. The paper concludes that local food systems provide a wide diversity of selling networks which can be used. However, it is not easy for producers to meet consumers' needs for local agricultural produce. The paper also puts emphasis on the necessity of including many fields of action to develop local food systems.
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