"Growing or dying" - this has long been used to describe the outlook for farms. The economic pressure of global food markets means that farms either have to grow in order to remain competitive, or give up if farmers cannot realize economies of scale. By occupying niches, a third path is opening up that offers a perspective beyond simply increasing production.
Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable food production and the preservation of traditional varieties, for example because they are more compatible. In addition, sales of organic products continue to grow. Geographical designations of origin protect the quality and regional production of well-known regional products. With the strong development of these niche markets, a new perspective is opening up for farms beyond production for the world market.
Within the framework of the project "Niche Market Farming", information materials are being developed to help agricultural businesses identify and occupy niche markets that are relevant to them. The focus is on three different topics. The first topic area is about successfully cultivating old varieties or keeping old livestock breeds. In combination with traditional dishes, high-quality agricultural products can be produced and successfully marketed, and biodiversity can be protected on the basis of traditional forms of land use. The second topic area deals with organic farming. The abandonment of pesticides creates high-quality foodstuffs that are uncontaminated by chemicals. These can be marketed directly to consumers in corresponding short chains. Organic farming stands for high-quality products and environmentally friendly production. The last topic area revolves around protected designations of origin and regional brands. For all niche markets, it is crucial that the quality of the products is made transparent for consumers. Protected designations of origin define criteria for traditional and typical regional products with regard to the area of cultivation and processing.
The IfLS coordinates the consortium of six other partners from four EU countries. The project is financed by Erasmus+ [in german] in the framework of vocational training.
|Information and knowledge dissemination | Socio-economics of farm business ||
European Commission, Erasmus+
Institute for Rural Development Research (IfLS)
Contact person/s at IfLS:
Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christoph Mathias
Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein (gehrlein[at]ifls.de), Christoph Mathias (mathias[at]ifls.de)