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Beyond ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’ in organic food supply chains: empirical examples of added value distribution from eight European countries

Orsini, Stefano; Padel, Susanne; Gambelli, Danilo; Lernoud, Julia; Sanders, Jürn; Solfanelli, Francesco; Stolze, Matthias; Willer, Helga and Zanoli, Raffaele (2019) Beyond ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’ in organic food supply chains: empirical examples of added value distribution from eight European countries. British Food Journal, 122 (3), pp. 798-812.

[thumbnail of Preprint] PDF - Accepted Version - English (Preprint)

Document available online at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/BFJ-07-2019-0508/full/html


Purpose – This research investigates the supply chains for organic milk, apples and pasta in eight European countries and how added value is distributed among market players.
Design/methodology/approach – Using secondary data and expert interviews, a market overview for the three products is provided as the basis of a more detailed analysis of the added value in twelve organic supply chain examples. For this, interviews with market players and an ‘added value calculator’ tool are employed.
Findings – The farm gate and retail price of organic products is higher than conventional. Super-markets are the main outlet for organic milk and apples in the countries studied, whereas the situation for organic pasta is varied, suggesting that the use of different sale channels is influ-enced by the food product. The farmers’ share of added value ranges between 3% and 65% of the added value created in the organic supply chains analysed.
Organic offers opportunities to increase the farmers’ share of added value both in supermarkets and alternative sale channels, by developing collaboration, physical infrastructures for organic and integrating operations upstream of the chain.
Research limitations/implications – While more research is needed into a larger number of chains, this paper indicates that there are dynamics and features at supply chain level, such as the distribution of added value and the target markets used, that cannot be interpreted according to the binary division between ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’ organic suggested by the con-ventionalisation hypothesis.
Originality/value – The distribution of added value for existing supply chains in eight European countries is calculated by using an effective added value calculator tool.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organic supply chains, Conventionlisation
Agrovoc keywords:
organic agriculture
value added
supply chain
Subjects: Farming Systems > Farm economics
Food systems > Markets and trade
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Rural sociology
Germany > Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries - VTI > Institute of Farm Economics - BW
Italy > Univ. Politecnica delle Marche (prev. Univ. Ancona)
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC)
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:36859
Deposited On:27 Nov 2019 08:22
Last Modified:16 Mar 2022 13:39
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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