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Marketing local products:
Short and long distribution channels

[ Summary ]

Section II
Collectively marketing local
products via long distribution channels




Faced with the growth in consumer demand for products that are safe, yet also authentic and unique, rural areas are able to provide an appropriate response to the needs of city-dwellers, based on a number of key elements:

  • the integrity of the product environment (and hence the raw materials);
  • a cultural identity founded on solid traditions;
  • a quality of life in terms of time, space, social relations, etc.

Increasingly, the ability to convey such values means having a certain competitive advantage over industrial competitors, despite the colossal resources they expend on advertising.

News programmes are continually reporting consumer concerns about recurrent difficulties in the agribusiness sector and recent surveys have shown that consumers are becoming more willing to alter their food-shopping habits, provided that the price differential is reasonable.

Certain hypermarkets have fully grasped this opportunity and are positioning themselves in the debate on quality and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They are placing more and more organic product lines on their shelves (vegetables, meat and dairy products) - including under their own brand name - as well as “local” products. Itinerant open-air markets, shops specialising in quality products or organic products and sales “from the farm” are all increasing significantly.

In the space of only a few years, food quality and safety have become a major preoccupation of Europe’s citizens.

The current focus on quality and safety offers a growth opportunity to producers who are able to organise themselves, professionalise and provide real quality guarantees in a market that, while expanding, is both demanding and competitive.

This dossier about product marketing - together with the other dossiers produced by the Observatory - is designed to provide effective responses to local players who have decided to embark on this approach or to pursue it further.

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