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Semi-subsistence Farms and Alternative Food Supply Chains

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matthew GortonORCiD, Dr Carmen Hubbard



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The engagement of small farms, including semi-subsistence farms (SSFs), in short/direct food supply chains varies significantly across EU Member States (MSs). It is far more prevalent in Southern EU MSs and in some New Member States (NMSs), such as Poland and Romania, than in North-West Europe. Farmers' markets, the most prevalent form of short/direct food supply chains, are most successful where they target ‘ethically concerned’ consumers and those for whom direct relationships with producers are considered as the main guarantee of quality. Such consumers are typically middle-class urban residents, so that successful farmers' markets are often located some distance from the point of production. Engagement with geographical indication schemes e.g. Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication labels also varies significantly between MSs. In some MSs, for example, Romania, despite the importance of the small-farm sector, the number of protected designations is negligible, and this is unlikely to change soon. In some cases, particularly in Italy, the involvement in quality schemes has led to farmers receiving a significantly higher share of the final retail price. Generally, however, protected designations have had most impact in safeguarding products with pre-existing widespread prestige, rather than serving as a mechanism for creating it.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hubbard C; Gorton M; Salvioni C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: EuroChoices

Year: 2014

Volume: 13

Issue: 1

Pages: 15-19

Print publication date: 09/04/2014

Online publication date: 09/04/2014

Date deposited: 25/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1478-0917

ISSN (electronic): 1746-692X

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/1746-692X.12045


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