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Clarion Congress & Hotel, Comet


Anna Milford

Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

Topic: Organic fruit and vegetable production in Norway: Is local marketing a lifestyle or a job?


The majority of the food in Norway is, as in most industrialised countries, sold through supply chains run by large wholesalers and supermarket chains. This is also true for organic fruits and vegetables. However, over the last years there has been a growth in the sales of food in Norway through local marketing sales channels such as speciality stores, food box schemes, farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA). This paper seeks to discover what differences there are between the organic farmers who either sell through mainstream or local marketing channels, and what can explain these differences. Qualitative interviews with organic fruit and vegetable farmers reveal that market requirements for certain quantities and qualities, as well as distance to the market, will affect which farmers will choose which type of marketing. But our quantitative survey also reveals that attitudes to the potential benefits organic farming is a potential driver for choice of sales channel. One explanation could be that local marketing facilitates a type of cultivation which is closer to what for some farmers is a more “ideal” form of organic agriculture. This type of knowledge is important to understand how the different sales channels are working, what are their implications and what are the adjustments that both policy makers and the farmers themselves can make in order to benefit the most from the different marketing systems

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