Farmer Cooperation as a Means for Creating Local Food Systems—Potentials and Challenges
AbstractFacing the continuous loss of family-run farms across Europe, farmers are seeking new pathways to sustainability. One such pathway is involvement in local food supply systems. Often, this requires new forms of cooperation among farmers and with consumers. Little is known, however, about how this cooperation works in practice and how it might be better fostered. This paper aims to illustrate various forms of cooperation in relation to small-scale farming and the establishment of local food supply. It sheds light on challenges farmers are facing and on the potential measures they can adopt to tackle these challenges. By means of an Austrian case study, researchers applied a participatory method (Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation) and conducted workshops with farmers. Research shows that local production, processing and distribution infrastructure becomes more affordable when farmers collaborate with each other and with consumers and institutions. Furthermore, sharing and collectively developing know-how helps to optimise local farming and food supply systems. However, farmers often lack the knowledge and time to establish new collaborations and to re-organise labour, logistics and communication processes. They would benefit from the availability of cooperative schemes that help facilitate such processes and innovations. View Full-Text
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Lutz, J.; Smetschka, B.; Grima, N. Farmer Cooperation as a Means for Creating Local Food Systems—Potentials and Challenges. Sustainability 2017, 9, 925.
Lutz J, Smetschka B, Grima N. Farmer Cooperation as a Means for Creating Local Food Systems—Potentials and Challenges. Sustainability. 2017; 9(6):925.Chicago/Turabian Style
Lutz, Juliana; Smetschka, Barbara; Grima, Nelson. 2017. "Farmer Cooperation as a Means for Creating Local Food Systems—Potentials and Challenges." Sustainability 9, no. 6: 925.
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