4 years ago



Table 1. Relative

Table 1. Relative importance of SC selling forms (except wine; ranking regarding turnover). Type Selling form % of farms involved 1 st rank* 2 nd** 3 rd** Direct Farm 50 % 31 % 23 % Direct Open market 19 % 19 % 10 % One intermediary Retailer 13 % 16 % 18 % Direct Round selling 6 % 7 % 7 % Producers collective Direct One store 5 % 8 % 8 % intermediary Supermarket 4 % 5 % 7 % Direct Box schemes 2 % 4 % 5 % Direct One Fair 1 % 4 % 7 % intermediary Restaurants 1 % 4 % 8 % Direct One Mail order 0.5 % 2 % 4 % intermediary Catering 0.3 % 1 % 3 % * : ranking by turnover ** : percentage of farms selling more than one product in short channels Source: General Census of Agriculture, 2010 WHY DO FRENCH CONSUMERS BUY IN SHORT CHANNELS? Thanks in particular to consumer focused research, conducted in the context of programs dedicated to SC 1, we better identify consumer motivations to buy in SC. Merle and Piotrowski (2012) propose three main reasons: Looking for tasty and authentic products. Consumers associate this special taste with the freshness of the products, particular production systems and the respect of seasonality production; Reducing safety hazards: recent food crises have heightened consumer sensitivity to food safety hazards. Buying local products is seen by some consumers as a way to reduce the risk by assuming that production methods are less intensive and guarantee safer products; 1 See for example, projects Coxinel (http://www.psdr‐ or Liproco (http://liproco‐circuits‐ 62

Making sense by the way of civic engagement and creating social links. The purchase of products and SC is motivated by the desire to support local agriculture (and/or small farms), to defend production practices but also to interact with the producer on his job. It is a way to promote sustainable agriculture regarding its three dimensions: environmental, economic and social. Hedonism and citizen commitment are therefore strong forces to purchase SC products. The creation of geographical and/or relational proximity (Praly et al., 2009; Herault‐Fournier et al., 2012) generates and maintains confidence in the products (and their production system) purchased by consumers (Vincq et al., 2010). It overcomes the constraints that this type of supply chain can have (narrow range of products, distance, restricted opening hours, contractual engagement, sometimes higher prices, ...). SHORT CHANNELS AND FOOD SAFETY As a foodstuffs producer, a farmer selling through SC has to comply with European Commission (EC) regulation on foodstuffs hygiene (especially regulations (EC) No 852/2004 & 853/2004). However, due to the characteristics of these operators, French food safety authorities implemented special rules for their approval. In case of direct delivery to consumer (no intermediary), a simple registration (instead of approval), managed by the Department public authority, is required. Producers that process primary products before selling them must comply with the recommendations of Good Practice for Hygiene guidelines. Specific rules regarding transport have to be respected. For example, in the case of meat products, an isotherm vehicle can be used for sale if the distance between farm and market place does not pass 80 km (as the crow flies). Beyond this distance, it is necessary to be equipped with a refrigerated vehicle. In the case of a sale to an intermediary, producer is considered as a retailer. Regarding animal products, he shall not operate unless the competent authority has approved his establishment with the exception of those carrying out only: (a) primary production; (b) transport operations; (c) the storage of products not requiring temperature‐controlled storage conditions; or (d) some retail operations. Nevertheless, even for meat products, derogation to approval can be delivered by French authority if sale to an intermediary is a marginal, localized and restricted activity. Concretely, 3 conditions are imposed: the maximum amount for each category of product sold to other retail establishments does not exceed a fixed quantity; for each product category, this quantity does not represent more than 30 % of the total production of the establishment (for this category); 63

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