Case studies in Hungary
Zala Valley Open Farms
On the basis of supporting local producers and toursim services (through LEADER), combined with SFSC knowledge and resources brought in by consultants in 2 transdisciplinary reserach projects, the Zala-Termálvölgye LAG has created the Zala Valley Open Farms SFSC. This is a network of producers of high value added food products opening their farm and food processing plant for customers to visit on a regular, transparent basis. The SFSC provides:
- a common marketing image (logo, rollups, signs, image films, etc.);
- a well designed internet platform + smart phone app. including push notifications + social media platforms where producers can market their products, give information about their opening times, special events, offers,;
- special, larger scale events for wider marketing of the system;
- a quality assurance system (with internal governance and decision making) for creating adequate environment at the farm to be able to accept visitors (toilets, hygiene, aesthetics, etc.;
- possibility for social learning, networking, building local/regional identity for producers.
Visitors can come to visit and buy products not only by appointment, but also during the regular opening times and at special organised events. Thus, customers can actually see how and where the local products are produced.
The LAG is, at the moment, the main engine/organiser of the programme and turned it into the backbone of local development strategy. (Only network members can apply for business support from the EU/state funded local development programme). Nevertheless, on the long run, entrepreneurs/producers should take charge and the programme should be sustainable even without the professional and financial input of the LAG.
Main results/outcomes of the activity (expected or final): The programme so far:
- created a coherent, long term framework for the efforts to develop local economy, economic and social networks, consumer and production culture, in a sustainable rural development context channelling efforts and giving strategic direction to the local development programme;
- created a reflexive and adaptive internet platform (and smart phone app) that can be dynamically updated by the producers themselves;
- reinforced social and economic networks amongst producers, giving space for social learning, personal and community development;
- provide consumers with regular possibility to buy good quality local products on the farm, in an ‘experience economy’ framework;
- enhance direct sales and direct marketing in the local food system;
- ensure economic and social sustainability of the system in the long run
The main practical recommendation(s): what would be the main added value/benefit or opportunities to the end-user if the generated knowledge were implemented? How can the practitioner make use of the results? It is important to:
- use real existing results (social networks, trust, existing enterprises) to base your new SFSC on.
- involve strong local players, gate keepers, opinion leaders, to create empowerment and ownership.
- have strong management with (at least at the beginning) external/additional funding and make sure that this management is continuously available and financed for a longer period of time (some years at least)
- close the communication gap between local actors and IT experts and ensure real understanding when designing internet platforms, apps. etc.
For more information, please visit http://nyitottportak.hu/.
Foodhub.hu Nonprofit Ltd.
FoodHub.hu provides a platform of fresh, organic, farm-sourced products and make them available for anyone living in the city of Budapest, Hungary. The „farm to table” and „farm to fork” concept inspired us and brought to live our distributor company FoodHub.hu in 2016 when we launched our online marketplace - AzÉnPiacom.hu (MyFarmersMarket) - with special product assortment of farmer’s products with home delivery service for busy moms, families. Besides the online presence - a cozy and family friendly physical weekly marketplace also opened in parallel with food truck, tasting demonstrations, local food campaigns, cooking trainings for schools and kids. The Foodhub.hu continuously help farmers to meet up, build and strengthen personal bonds with their clients and fellow farmers in formal and also in a non-formal ways, are available for consultancy, discussions, organize forums and offer community events.
In order to expand and scale FoodHub sustainable the founders formed a strategic alliance with an online farmers’ marketplace, Supp.li (https://www.supp.li/). Supp.li, as a digital platform focuses on scaling, digitizing and automating food ordering, payment, invoicing and logistics between farmers and HoReCa business but lacked the capabilities of long-term farmer collaborations. On Supp.li’s platform farmers can publish their fresh and processed products, which than can be ordered by restaurants and chefs. In addition to developing the platform, Supp.li checks the quality of the uploaded food and assumes full logistics services. The company is currently serving restaurants in Central Europe, and its long-term goal is to reform the restaurant-supply chain across Europe. Our alliance with such an automated solution allows both parties to merge their benefits under one roof while successfully handling flows in their scalability.
With this concept Foodhub.hu happily functions both as a stable bridge, and a food expert – and makes sure that the delivered products are not just healthy, fresh, and organic but they are of high quality, on best and most accessible price. The alliance acts as a pilot how a farmers offline hub and a farmers online digital hub can design a business model and distribution system that is scalable, sustainable and profitable for all involved parties and current data shows that the tested Food logistic + Digital HUB model can be scaled to entire Europe merging all local farmers into a distribution network that is local while allowing global presence and collaboration of the farmer, logistic and buyer parties involved. Tests show that this scalable, sustainable and digitalized model can be the next step in the evolution of local food supply chain networks.