Case studies in Germany
Chamber of Agriculture Lower-Saxony (CALS) and the support community “Einkaufen auf dem Bauernhof (EADB)”
The Chamber of Agriculture Lower-Saxony (CALS) is a self-governed non-profit organization, which also acts as a public body. Activities include consulting, support and professional education in “green professions”, including field testing. Members and customers are private forest holders, horticulture businesses, farming businesses and businesses in the sector of aquaculture.
“Einkaufen auf dem Bauernhof (EADB)” (Shopping at the Farm) is a support community for directly marketed agricultural products. The community is organized via several farmer associations and the agricultural chambers of the federal states. It is the largest union for agricultural direct marketing in Germany.
Concept & Philosophy
"Shopping at the farm" means that uniformly looking and tasting standard products, should not exist.
At times when small businesses are increasingly being driven out of the market by large corporations, the ability of self-marketing becomes a key skill to ensure competitiveness and maintenance of operations. The support community "Einkaufen auf dem Bauernhof" supports directly marketing agricultural businesses by creating a striking unique profile through advertising and public relations.
Individuality, through special products, freshness, recipes, customer service, etc. are decisive factors to differentiate and to satisfy and bind customers. As a common feature, members of the development community use the self-developed, nationwide sign "Shopping at the Farm", which guarantees that products come exclusively from their own farm and any additionally purchased goods are acquired only from personally known farms (not from trade or the food industry). Advantages of the support community are manifold:
- Supporting regional businesses and promoting seasonality and product diversity
- Creation of experience- and education- spaces through farm visits
- Direct consultation and direct contact between customer and producer
- Transparency along the value chain (cultivation, harvest and processing)
- Representing and strengthening interests of direct marketers vis-à-vis the public
- Use of counseling services within the support community
For more information, please visit https://einkaufen-auf-dem-bauernhof.com.
Netzwerk Solidarische Landwirtschaft (Solidary Agriculture)
Netzwerk Solidarische Landwirtschaft (SoLaWi) is a non-profit organization and network in the field of agricultural direct marketing. SoLaWi promotes and maintains a rural and diverse agriculture, preserves regional food and allows people new spaces of experience and education. Solidary agriculture is an innovative strategy for vibrant, responsible agriculture, making an essential contribution to sustainable development, while ensuring the existence of the people who are running the farms. The network is made up primarily of dedicated, self-employed consultants who provide support to already established and emerging SoLaWi groups, plus work groups who are tackling specific topics like seeds, education, research and digital transformation.
Concept & Philosophy:
"The food loses its price and gets its value back."
Solidary agriculture supports and preserves artisanal and diverse agricultural practices, ensures access to regional food products and provides spaces of experience and education. Solidary agriculture is an innovative strategy for a living, responsible agriculture, focused on securing well-being of the people working, and provides essential contributions to a sustainable development. Its employees are mostly self-employed consultants assisting in the formation of community agricultural groups.
SoLaWi-groups usually consist of different collaborators: Farmers, gardeners and prosumers (producers, which are consumers at the same time). Through teamwork and mutual support fairs, SoLaWi creates fair conditions for farmers and complete transparency for consumers (i.e. prosumers). Different tasks, from planning to harvesting, are equally distributed among SoLaWi-members and autonomously organized. Prosumers contribute to the farmer’s income by paying an annual membership fee and support him with different tasks on the field. In return they are provided with fresh and healthy produce and other agricultural products (milk, meat, etc.) on a regular basis. Advantages of such system are manifold:
- Increased planning security for the farmer and preservation of business
- Risk distribution between farmers and prosumers
- Direct contact and exchange between farmer and prosumers
- Prosumers gain access to spaces of experience and education (knowledge about cultivation, maintenance and production of food)
- Transparency along the value chain (cultivation, harvesting and processing)
- Support of regional SMEs and reinforcement of local eco-cycles
For more information, please visit: https://www.solidarische-landwirtschaft.org/index.php?id=92