What conditions are to make such short chains a success?
Date: 2013-04-09 18:58:43 User:
Dear all,

I wanted just to share my opinion about the question " What conditions are to make such short chains a success".

One of the main obstacles to small productions are sanitary regulations. The tendency in most of the countries is to implement the same regulations to small producers and to industries. But small-scale farmers cannot face such investments.

Concerning dairy products, in Europe we are working on the adaptation of regulations to small cheesedairies from the European Network of Farmhouse Cheesemakers ( Last year we organise an European Congress with some interesting conclusions. You can find more information on Not all presentations are translated. Sorry.

Best regards,

Remedios Carrasco Sánchez
Iniciativas para la dinamización del campo
Red Estatal de Queserías de Campo y Artesanas
T: +34 676 729 011
skype: remediospalcampo
Date: 2013-05-08 13:07:32 User: Marielle Dubbel
Other criteria for success: need for a new generation of farmers and entrepreneurs

In my experience, short chains and other urban and peri-urban agriculture initiatives also depend very much on interested farmers and entrepreneurs. In several cities in the Global South the urban farming community consist to a high extent of elderly people, with youth not being interested in farming.
There is a need to engage youth and new farmers in farming and entrepreneurial activities if up scaling of such activities is sought.

Interesting initiatives include:
- The Canadian NGO FarmStart aims to encourage and support a new generation of entrepreneurial, ecological farmers. See:
-In Portland (USA), a youth employment program, Food Works engages 14-21 year olds in all aspects of planning and running an entrepreneurial farm business. Working side by side with gardens’ staff, community residents, local farmers, business owners and non-profit leaders, Food Works’ Crew Members learn business, leadership, organic agriculture and other work skills. Crew Members also receive school credit for their work and are supported to transition into other employment opportunities and post-secondary education (for more information on Food Works, please look at:

Young entrepreneurs can also play an important role in developing new concepts and innovative food business as demonstrated by this enterprise in Cairo:
“On Cairo’s rooftops and vacant land, people are coming together with visions of cultivating a different sort of development in the city. Community groups, social entrepreneurs and individuals are responsible for this new growth which intertwines local development and environmental consciousness in an effort to achieve food secure neighbourhoods. Having spoken to a collection of the leaders of these projects, it is clear that each group aims to enchain a wider reaction within Cairo’s communities. They are working with other NGOs and individuals to begin small-scale gardening projects on balconies or rooftops - and setting up trainings in agricultural techniques.
The groups are also well-informed of previous projects, and they have developed innovative techniques to overcome problems. Schaduf, a social enterprise managed by two brothers, aims to lift people above the poverty line through an income generated by the sale of garden produce. Sherif Hosny, joint-CEO, says previous projects required residents to sell produce themselves, yet they were ill-equipped with the business and marketing savvy to make a profit.His business now buys produce from individual families then sells it in bulk to retailers. Schaduf’s CEO Hosny is however quick to point out that there is nothing novel about urban gardening in Cairo. He says on one of the rooftops where his project is operating, residents were already tending to healthy populations of goats and chickens.
The new projects are also seeking to further develop current systems. For example, Schaduf focuses on developing hydroponic agriculture which grows produce in mineral rich water, without soil" (see :
Date: 2013-05-08 13:55:34 User: Authorless
Need for credits and investment in market outlets and farmer shops

A study done by Moustier and Nguyen on direct sales from farmers to consumers in Vietnam illustrated some of the factors that are needed to be put in place to make short food chains a success:

1. Direct sales were both beneficial to farmers as they generated higher incomes and to consumers who benefit from product freshness and the ability to receive direct information on product origin and freshness.
2. Yet, only wealthier farmers benefitted from direct sales as it requires renting farm shops or market stalls. In this sense the situation in Vietnam may be different from that in Europe where direct sales often offer underprivileged farmers to find alternative market outlets.
3. To overcome this problem preferential credit may be given to farmers or farmer groups for investing in retailing locations.
4. Also more should be done to advertise places where farmer shops can be found, while at the same time more rigorous control is needed to ensure product original, quality and safety.
From community to consumption. Research in rural sociology and development. Volume 16.
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