Parma, August 28th - September 1st 2017
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O.S. 8.5: Networks, Social Innovations And Short Food Supply Chains
Networks, Social Innovations And Short Food Supply Chains
The modernisation of rural economies depends on the capacity of rural actors to cooperate successfully to form efficient value chains which will deliver competitive products and services. The greater interest being shown in short supply chains provides opportunities to rethink and improve value chain organisation so as to turn specific assets into economic, environmental and social benefits.
The new forms of value chain organisation in rural areas are influenced by a plurality of components referring to aspects of technical, technological, cultural, economic, organizational, legal and institutional nature. A transition to new business patterns requires an approach that takes into account these system dimension. We observe a shift from traditional, farm- and place-based, to modern Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs), which are more complex, consisting of collaborative networks of producers, consumers and institutions but often seeking to sustain traditional farming practices through social innovation in chain organisation and food marketing. Thus, modern SFSCs con be characterised as re-embedded, re-spatialized, based on transparency and trust, being part of local community development and representing shared values and life style.
Contributions in the session will bring an evidence-based view on the different aspects of short food supply chains development in different EU countries. This includes the characteristics of individual and collective businesses, investigation of networks, interaction and cooperation between different stakeholders but also changes at organizational and managerial as well as conceptual level of SFSCs in the context of implementation of rural development policy. In the session we will also look at the EU funding to fostering marketing of food products. importance of socially driven strategies. They often emphasise voluntary, bottom-up processes and quality control, and are embedded in the local community and economic development efforts. This leads to new forms of governance that could be seen as future models, implemented in other rural businesses and also in rural communities.
Finally, to identify a comprehensive set of good practices leading to growth of SFSCs and thus the creation of SFSC facilitates also diffusion of the most sustainable production models in the close relation to consumers’ needs (and demand). Good practises in this field will help to enable different groups of stakeholders among Congress attendees to plan their actions towards supporting or creating new SFSCs.
The comments and insights from the discussant will be an introduction to open discussion on the development paths of SFSCs in the context of:
- new forms of social innovation and collaborative networks,
- institutional and policy support,
- new forms of governance introduced in SFSCs organisation and be seen as one significant contribution to the current transitions in rural areas across European countries.
This session is organised by the community of European Rural Development Network (ERDN, www.erdn.eu). ERDN, established in 2002, represents a ‘critical mass’ of high-quality research expertise covering a broad range of disciplines including (but not only) agricultural production and competitiveness, environmental resource management, agri-food supply chain management, markets and marketing, international trade, econometrics, rural economic geography, rural economy and sociology. The Network is meant to encompass the leading research centres studying rural development in Europe, and in particular in its central, eastern and south-eastern countries (both EU and non-EU Members). ERDN has adopted a format for research cooperation that, over a 15-year period, has proved to have been outstandingly successful. No comparable organisation exists in the region, The main objectives of the ERDN are parallel to the Community’s idea of building the European Research Area for agriculture and rural development.
Presentations of the Symposium
The Food Chain In The Rural Development Programs Of The Italian Regions: A Comparison Between The Two Programming Periods 2007-2013 And 2014-2020
The food chain has undergone considerable changes at organizational and managerial as well as conceptual level, because of implementation of rural development policy. In fact, in the 2007-2013 programming period, with the development of the Integrated Supply Chain Projects funded by the regional Rural Development Program, the chain concept has taken shape from theory to practice, according to the logic and different characteristics in different regions, sub-funds and implementation instruments governed by the regions and Member States.
In the 2014-2020 programming period, the supply chains have undergone a new impetus to the development in relation to new tools in support of the cooperation provided by the Rural Development Program. The aim of the work is to investigate the support tools for the development of food chains and the cooperation by means of an analysis and comparison of the Rural Development Programs implemented in Italy regions for the two periods programming, that are 2014-2020 and 2007-2013. It is expected this work can give insight and shed some light on understanding the nature and real contribution to the development of the different productive sectors.
How Does EU Support Social Approaches To Food Marketing?
In response to a growing awareness of the consumers across Europe, efforts towards improvements of food marketing have been intensifying during the last decades. Targeted actions to tackle these challenges have been undertaken by rural communities, public and private sector, including large multi-national companies. This presentation will look at the contribution of the EU funding to fostering marketing of food products. Taking into account a number of dedicated projects supported with the Rural Development Programmes, main pathways will be revealed that emphasise importance of socially driven strategies. They often emphasise voluntary, bottom-up processes and quality control, and are embedded in the local community and economic development efforts. The evidence reveals also crucial role of the EU funding in supporting such undertakings.
Short Food Supply Chains As A Way For Diversifying Farmers’ Economic Activity
Most farms in Poland are still small family owned holdings with no potential to compete with large specialised units and with no bargaining power in comparison with other food market players. Diversification of farms’ economic activity is the only way to sustain their agricultural activity and keep family members in rural areas. Participating in short food supply chains (SFSCs) is one of the effective ways to make use of small farm potential and to combine farming with other economic activity. The problem to be tackled is how to develop prospering SFSCs. Based on case studies and literature review we stress collaborative networks and social innovations as crucial factors forming successful new forms of SFSCs.
As our research shows, the creation of SFSC facilitates also diffusion of the most sustainable production models as the proximity to consumers and their demands leads to the need for more environmentally responsible farming practices.
The aim of this paper is to identify a comprehensive set of good practices leading to growth of SFSCs and thus enable different groups of stakeholders to plan their actions towards supporting or creating new SFSCs.
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Conference: EAAE 2017
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