Looking at organic+ activities and their perception by consumers in the rural web

Before I start writing about organic+ activities and consumers I would like to introduce myself.

My name is Corinna Feldmann and I study Organic Agriculture in my second year. I just finished my master thesis: ‘What does the consumer take up? – A case study on communication in the rural web around the dairy in Andeer’.

Everything started in late spring of 2009, when I decided that I would like to do my research on consumers and their opinion on producer’s activities which go beyond the minimum standards of organic regulations. So, I found my way to the Rural Sociology Group and met Bettina Bock. Doing some investigations on the internet I came across the first report of the EU Core Organic Project on Consumer Farmer Partnerships which deals with the identification of communication arguments used by small-scale farmers and producers who engage in organic+ activities. Thereupon I got into contact with the research institute for biological farming (FiBL) in Switzerland who is one of the partners in this EU project. In May I wrote my research proposal with the help of Heidrun Moschitz and Flurina Schneider from FiBL and Bettina Bock. The core of my research was to find out what aspects of the communication arguments consumers perceive as important. Continue reading

Collective approach to farmer marketing – recommendations

Dutch Initiative Van Eigen ErfRecently our rural sociology group finished an European research project on collective farmers marketing initiatives. The COFAMI project identified a broad set of enabling and limiting factors to explain the emergence of and dynamics within farmers’ driven collective action and developed a methodology to assess their impacts on different types of territorial capital assets. Empirial material from Italy, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and The Netherlands covers collective farmers initiatives in fields as high quality food production, provision of new rural goods and services and region branding. A summary of recommendations, reports and other project material can be downloaded from www.cofami.org.