Opportunities for Local for Local Food Production. A Case in the Dutch Fruit and Vegetables

J. Visser, J.H. Trienekens, P. van Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the opportunities for farmers to produce for local consumers, based on a case study in the Dutch horticulture sector. Main requirements for the set-up of a local chain of supply chain actors are investigated. Producer requirements are added value, availability of time, infrastructure and training. Retailer requirements are quality of food, purchasing volumes, food safety, communication to consumers and traceability of products. For consumers taste/freshness, sustainability, health benefits and authenticity are important attributes of local foods. Based on literature review and interviews with stakeholders four possible strategies for local food chains are defined. The ‘keep it local’ strategy means that the local food supply chains will not make use of the current infrastructure of the marketing coop that acts as chain coordinator. Deliveries are directly between farmer and retail outlet. The local products - conventional supply chain strategy implies that current (non-local) supply chains are used to distribute local products. The supply chain planning will be more complex since products need to be separated per grower and distributed to several local supermarkets. In the ‘enabling producers’ strategy the marketing coop/chain coordinator is going to enable its member producers to sell their products locally. The marketing coop can support producers in for instance, billing and payments, marketing, logistics. The fourth strategy aims at strengthening current consumer communication strategies. It is argued that connecting producers and consumers, regardless of where they live is advantageous. Conclusion is that strategy 3; ‘Enabling producers’, in combination with strategy 4; ‘Strengthening current consumer communication strategies’ are the most promising options in setting up local food supply chains. Strategies 1 and 2, where the marketing coop/chain coordinator itself takes on the challenge of setting up local food supply chains meets too much resistance from the retail companies (head-office level) and offers too little opportunities for providing added value to both producers and retailers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-87
JournalInternational Journal on Food System Dynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • chain coordination
  • consumer preferences
  • Food supply chain
  • local production
  • producer requirements
  • retail requirements


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