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Marketing local products:
Short and long distribution channels

[ Summary ]

Section II
Collectively marketing local
products via long distribution channels


Chapter 1
Issues at stake



1.2 New market conditions


To cope with increased demand, market operators have changed their attitude towards local products. In their continual search for elements with which to distinguish and enliven their points of sale, the major brand names now see local products as portraying a positive and gratifying image to the public.

Not only does this situation open up interesting market opportunities, it also defines a new order with totally new forms of competition. Although competition between producers is not fierce (especially in long distribution channels where the presence of small cottage industries is as yet limited), we are witnessing the emergence of new forms of competition, both from food manufacturers, who are gaining a better foothold in the market with product ranges that convey a typical and cottage-industry image, and from major retail chains.

The “Filière Qualité Carrefour” operation is a typical illustration of this phenomenon. Its creator, the French hypermarket chain, Carrefour, has concluded agreements with more than 20,000 suppliers - farms, fishery firms and agribusiness processing companies (cooperatives, abattoirs, mills, etc.) - to supply food products based on natural and traditional recipes, which rigorously meet food hygiene and safety requirements. Furthermore, these products will be certified by independent organisations such as Qualité France and Ecocert. In the medium term, this network of agreements is set to involve more than 50,000 regional producers, all managing small and medium-sized businesses, some of whom are specialised in organic farming. All of the operators who will be taking part in the initiative will come under the generic brand “Filière Qualité Carrefour”.

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