Topic: What influence the success of provenance food initiatives?
Across the EU, farmers’ income from the production of standard agricultural products is decreasing, in many areas domestic products lose market shares to foreign products, and there is a continuing trend of job loss in rural areas. Provenance foods offer a pathway for sustainable rural transformation, but the question is to which extent this potential is realized and which factors condition the success of food initiatives? Provenance foods can be defined as foods with distinct qualities derived from their place of origin and/or production history. The uniqueness of provenance foods derives from their distinct sensory characteristics, geographically specific place of origin, and the tradition and culture associated with food. All these markers of uniqueness must be mediated to consumers. Both natural and cultural heritage is drawn on in the production and marketing processes to generate added value for actors in the food chain, by for example drawing on specific climatic or soil conditions, or traditional or unique food growing and processing techniques. In many EU countries, provenance foods have proven to have a positive impact on national food economies and on national biodiversity indicators. This is achieved through the diversification of the agricultural landscape and a similar diversification of the food markets. However, in other areas particularly in northern Europe this development is less developed. The ambition of this presentation is to review the existing literature to explore the factors that condition the success of provenance food initiatives.