Producers' and processors' perceptions of locality and its interaction with the concept of organic farming: empirical evidence from Denmark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Purpose: Given the fact that local food as a tool to create value-added is a relatively new trend in Scandinavian countries with a strong emphasis on organic food, only limited – and mainly qualitative and case-based - empirical evidence on producers and processors involved in local food value chains (FVCs) has been available so far. Thus, the present paper contributes to the small but growing literature analyzing local FVCs by providing and analyzing quantitative survey data. More specifically, the authors aim at investigating (1) how agricultural producers and processors define and perceive local food, (2) which drivers are important for the decision to become involved in local FVC and (3) whether these drivers differ in a systematic way across producers and processors. Design/methodology/approach: In order to address these research questions, empirical data from a quantitative stakeholder survey carried out in spring in 2017 is used. Data are analyzed via descriptive and inductive statistics including a cluster analysis. Findings: The survey results concerning the definition and perceptions of local food are in line with previous studies showing that there is usually a strong emphasis on geographic proximity. Besides, local (organic) food producers and processors are diverse and heterogeneous with differing distribution and product differentiation strategies being implemented and pursued. In particular, businesses employing primarily a personified distribution strategy (e.g. direct sales via farmers markets) differ quite substantially from businesses employing mainly a standardized distribution strategy (e.g. via retail) in their economic characteristics. Moreover, differences in the perception of potential benefits of local food as well as in the underlying drivers to become part of local FVCs were detected across businesses with different distribution strategies. Research limitations/implications: Although the employed data sample is considered adequate for analyzing heterogeneity in firms' business strategies, the sample is not representative for Denmark and cannot straight-forwardly be extrapolated to the population level. Originality/value: One of the first quantitative study on producers' and processors' perceptions of local food and its interaction with organic farming. So far, there is a large literature on consumers' perceptions but empirical evidence for other stakeholders is scarce. Hence, the present study provides a complementary perspective on the topic of local food.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)4049-4068
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

    Research areas

  • Concept of proximity, Local food, Organic food, Producer perceptions

ID: 272073349