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Support systems for new activities in rural areas
Part 3 - Various techniques
How to use this guide & Table of Contents
The main purpose of a production audit
A. Natural resources and raw materials
B. Production processes and costs
For each main stage or step of production:
C. Project promoter(s)
It is useful to produce a map for each project promoter covering:
More detailed questionnaires and checklists can be found in the "Methodology guide for evaluating a territory's touristic potential" (op. cit.).
EXAMPLE OF A PRODUCTION AUDIT:
12 trout farmers initially came together to eradicate certain illnesses affecting their fish. They were interested in exploring the viability of a quality label and organising the joint promotion and marketing of their products. In order to do this, they first decided to commission a production audit.
1.2 The producers involved
A list of the 12 producers and their names.
2.1 The characteristics of the trout farms
Age, size, employment, production cycle covered, volumes and sales. Together, the 12 producers have a total output of 2100 tonnes and a turnover of ECU 7 million. However, there are major differences, with two of the largest producers being responsible for 80% of total sales.
2.2 Technology and production process
Quality of the water, machinery and equipment, duration and main phases of production, food and other inputs, health and safety aspects.
Portioned rainbow trout accounts for 50% of sales.
3.2 Distribution channels
Approximately one third of sales are through supermarkets, one third through wholesale distributors and 22% through other fish farms. The breakdown is proportional to the size of the farms.
Price ranges and margins for each product depend on the distribution channel used. There are major differences between producers.
4. Producer attitudes towards the collective project
4.1 Interest and motivation
All are interested in a quality label, but for different reasons: some would like to gain more independence from intermediaries, others are looking for a way of achieving the volumes required by the supermarkets.
4.2 Expectations and objectives
Producers indicated that they gave more importance to joint promotion and marketing, followed by joint production to cover certain gaps in product ranges. They gave less importance to collective systems for technical assistance.
4.3 Producer criteria for a quality label>P
The different factors to be taken into account were ranked in order of importance: water quality, length of the production cycle, low population density, quality of feed and water, fat content, etc.
4.4 Main criteria for promotion
The producers valued the aspects they thought should be used to differentiate their products from 1 to 5. Coming from a mountain area and using natural processes was seen as more important than geographical identity (i.e. the Basque Country).
4.5 The joint project
The organisation, volume, turnover, products, equipment, staff and legal form.
4.6 Producer commitment to the project
In time and money.
A 28-page easy to read report with plenty of graphics and concrete examples provides the key information necessary for creating a group of producers.