REDUCING BARRIERS FOR CONVERSION TO ORGANIC VEGETABLE PRODUCTION BY IMPROVING REGIONAL VALUE NETWORKS - THREE CASES FROM GERMANY
The offer of fresh organic vegetable in the German retail chains has increased in the last years. However, this market growth has been realised to a large extend by imports. Recently, regional origins of fresh fruit and vegetable gain importance. But the development of German organic vegetable production has been comparatively slow - conventional as well as specialised organic retail chains ask for more regionally produced fruit and vegetable. In Germany, producers and buyers have difficulties in using these opportunities: existing organic growers do not expand and the conversion is only one of various options for horticultural business development. A sustainable expansion of regional production requires the reduction of uncertainties in the marketing of products, more incentives for conversion to professional producers and regional value chains have to be developed. This requires learning and change processes among all members of the value chain in order to better match supply and demand. We follow a transdisciplinary research approach in three case study regions in Germany (glasshouse production, large consumer demand, concentrated conven-tional vegetable production). In a first step an analysis of the market and conversion conditions in Germany and international examples has been conducted. Secondly, in three case study areas interviews with all relevant value chain members and supporting institutions have been carried out. The analysis of the specific regional context and actors and their relationships served as a basis for regional workshops. This forum in neutral atmosphere gives the members of the value chain the option to develop regional strategies. In the fourth phase the development of these strategies and their implementation is accompanied and supported with information and theoretical reflection. This paper documents the method applied, presents first results and conclusions for change processes in organic value chains.
König, B., von Allwörden , A. and Bokelmann, W. (2012). REDUCING BARRIERS FOR CONVERSION TO ORGANIC VEGETABLE PRODUCTION BY IMPROVING REGIONAL VALUE NETWORKS - THREE CASES FROM GERMANY. Acta Hortic. 933, 629-636
organic value chain, action research, coordination, marketing, regional development