Topic: Why business models matter in local food production
An important question in relation to understanding the success of local food producers concerns their choice of business model. A viable business model allows the actor to reflect upon the organization of the business and the relations in which she engages. Insights from the study of business models can therefore help generating a better understanding how local food producers experience challenges and how they manages to solve them.
In this presentation, we present empirical insights from the ongoing Danish research project Provenance.dk on business models of local food producers. We argue that a central component in the success of these business models consist in the ability of the business in engaging in a network where the central values are mutually recognised. Empirically such values include; a strong emphasize on developing the local, an animal welfare that often exceeds the standards found in regulations, a strong focus on sustainable production and consumption and, finally, a strong devotion to good artisanship favouring non-generic products. We stress, that local food producers need to think of themselves as business operators. This we find is often neglected in favour of a strong dedication to the product. We maintain that by paying more attention to the focus-point of a full business model, the possibility of succeeding as a local food producer increases.