The Potential Role of Short Food Supply Chains in Strengthening Periurban Agriculture in Spain: The Cases of Madrid and Barcelona
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AuthorYacamán Ochoa, Carolina; Matarán Ruiz, Alberto; Mata Olmo, Rafael; López, Jose María; Fuentes-Guerra, Rafael
Short food supply chainsDistributionPeriurban agricultureLocal food systemsFarm questionnaireSmall grocery questionnaireGovernance
Yacamán Ochoa, C. [et al.]. The Potential Role of Short Food Supply Chains in Strengthening Periurban Agriculture in Spain: The Cases of Madrid and Barcelona. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2080; doi:10.3390/su11072080.
SponsorshipThis research was funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Foodstuffs and the Environment), grant number 72,228.18 Euros, funded 100% by the European Union, in the “Convocatoria 2018 y submedida 16.1 en el marco del Programa Nacional de Desarrollo Rural 2014–2020 (2018 call and sub-measure 16.1 within the framework of National Rural Development Programme 2014–2020)”.
Periurban agriculture is being hit by the effects of the globalized food system, as well as by concrete aspects of urban sprawl. Nonetheless, proximity to the main markets provides an opportunity to sustain agriculture in highly urbanized areas. In this sense, an increasing number of local initiatives is arising within the context of Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs). The economic impact of these initiatives, however, is limited by problems and inefficiencies that hinder their capacity to scale up. The present paper sets forth the results of a research project developed in Madrid and Cataluña. The study is based upon documentary and empirical research addressing the main problems periurban farmers are facing in relation to local food distribution. Among other factors, these refer to regulatory barriers, logistics, competition and dealing with consumers’ preferences. We conducted a questionnaire with a representative group of farmers from each region in three towns presenting different demographic sizes along with another questionnaire extended to the owners of small grocery stores, who play a vital role in the supply of fresh food in these municipalities. Our research demonstrates that most of the problems arising when dealing with SFSCS can be solved by introducing new forms of cooperation among the different agents of the food chain.