Report Synopsis

Strengthening the connection between farmers in markets and product chains

Marije Klever

The question raised at the start of this Nuffield Scholarship was:

How are farmers are connected over the world in markets and product chains and how this connection can be strength-end.

During the research I found new insights, new idea’s and new solutions which I will share in this summary. 

  • International foodchains are dominated by a few major players which have the advantage that capital, knowledge and logistcts are centralised which makes them very efficient.
  • Making international foodchains more suistainble from a farmers point of view is no great priority for those mayor players.
  • Some international foodchains who are connected over the world, could be organised in a more sustainable manner from a farmers point of view.
  • Farmers within those international foodchains do not experience problems, even if those foodchains as whole could be organised more sustainable; they do not feel they are the problem owner.
  • Consumers are not connected to the foodchain, which makes them not critical about it.
  • Farmers who are not organised cannot influence international foodchains, farmers who are can also not influence international foodchains but they can participate in them.
  • Niche markets are key in starting new international foodchains, this connects a certain group of farmers to a certain group of consumers.
  • Critical consumers are needed for niche markets and food education is needed to make people aware of the world behind food.
  • Innovation is key to niche markets, to create new advantages for consumers
  • Farmers who are organised can create innovation more easily
  • Niche markets are made possible by product innovation, innovation on farm level or within the foodchain

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