ABOUT US

The project aims at invigorating the competitiveness of farmers and SMEs in the Mediterranean agri-food sector by proposing and piloting a menu of innovative governance and marketing solutions. These solutions try to deal with the producer fragmentation and the lack of a customer-oriented approach that typically burden the upstream stages of the Mediterranean food supply chain. To this end, our research focuses on two main ways of improving smallholder competitiveness and strengthening their position in the value chain. On the one hand, we focus on Cooperatives and other POs (WP1) and Geographical Indications of origin (GIs) (WP2), as fundamental tools for achieving cooperation and integration in agri-food chains. On the other, we consider new market opportunities for smallholders (WP3) arising from technology (e.g., e-commerce) and regulation (e.g., public procurement).

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Period of Implementation

Sep 1, 2021 - Aug 31, 2024
Total Budget

EUR 588,107.00

Project team

OUR IMPACT

Goals

The AGRICOMPET project aims at creating a menu of solutions to help small producers and processors improve their competitiveness.

Objectives

We direct our effort towards two main ways of improving smallholder competitiveness and strengthening their position in the value chain. The first concerns facilitating cooperation among small producers to pool resources and encourage collective action, in order to improve their efficiency and bargaining power. Our research interests in this area are (WP1) Cooperatives and other POs and (WP2) Geographical indications of origin (GIs), as fundamental tools for achieving cooperation and integration in agri-food chains. The second way of improving competitiveness is to seize the opportunities arising from technology (e.g., e-commerce) and regulation (e.g., public procurement) to access to new market (WP3).

Problems and Needs Analysis

First, the success of cooperatives or producer organisations differs substantially across types of co-op or PO, countries and industries, and significant inefficiencies can still be found in their operation. Therefore, WP1 will identify and assess pressing organisational challenges facing POs in the agri-food system, and will benchmark cooperative performance relative to other types of organization. It will then co-create, together with Mediterranean cooperative leaders, solutions to their dilemmas and a road map to continuously and sustainably build capabilities for change in their organizations. Second, the effectiveness of GI systems to facilitate access to local and international markets and to adapt to the sustainability challenges of agri-food chains is conditioned by both their internal governance systems and their institutional environments. Thus, WP2 will seek to identify and explore the feasibility of new or improved governance solutions to improve the functioning of the European GI system and the competitiveness of GI associated producers, assessing (in collaboration with other SC stakeholders) their effectiveness in different institutional settings. Third, taking advantage of e-commerce or accessing public procurement contracts is not easy for smallholders and POs. This is because of high investment risks, lack of awareness of their business models and technology, and regulatory uncertainty. Consequently, WP3 will investigate alternative e-business models for agri-food producers, the critical drivers of smallholders’ e-business transformation, and how public procurement policies can increase SMEs’ participation in public markets and ensure the sustainability of public procurement.

Impact Pathway

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NEWS & EVENTS