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Cooperation and alternative food chains as marketing opportunities for smallholder farms in Southeastern Europe

Research domain:
Livelihoods in rural areas

Project duration:
since 30.06.2018

Agricultural production in Southeastern Europe is dominated by small-scale, semi-subsistence-oriented producers, which often fail to be competitive. Different forms of cooperation or the occupation of local niche markets could help to overcome market failure and to improve the position of smallholders in the market. However, both cooperation and niche markets or new market channels are hardly exploited.

To better understand the possibilities for and opportunities of cooperation and alternative food chains in the specific regional context, this project studies the cooperation behavior of smallholders. It hence aims to better understand the drivers and barriers of increased cooperation to identify the services that are most sought by farmers who intend to cooperate. Furthermore, the market potential for direct farmer-consumer relationships, such as for example CSA, is researched along consumers’ preferences for local fresh food.

The project applies a mixed methods approach. Quantitative primary data are analyzed, among others, based on PLS structural equation modelling as well as a choice based conjoint approach.