The development of short food supply chains where intermediaries between farmers and consumers are removed should result in fairer remunerations for farmers and higher quality local food products, supporters say.
In 2015, 15% of farmers sold half of their products through these short food supply chains, according to a study carried out by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS).
The Common Agricultural Policy for the first time focused on short food supply chains during the current funding period (2014-2020). Producers can now benefit from support by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to set up such schemes.
Smallholders often find themselves in a weak negotiating position against food processors, traders, wholesalers, and large retailer chains. In some cases, the “big players” are the only access to the market for small-scale farmers, which results in unfair trade practices.