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The future of German food hubs in light of the European Farm to Fork strategy

  • Many of the traditional alternative food networks are facing logistical challenges that impede them from increasing their scale and emerging from the market niche they currently operate in. Food hubs, as innovative business models, may be able to overcome these challenges and bridge the infrastructural gap between small and medium-sized local farmers and large-scale demand for local food products. Although the food hub concept has enjoyed only relatively little popularity in Europe, this might change with the European Commission’s plan for a more sustainable food system – the Farm to Fork strategy. This thesis aims to analyze the potential impact that this initiative as an external market force may have on the future of food hubs, so that it can be considered in their strategic decisions today. Nonquantitative scenario planning was used to develop four plausible future states, each characterized by a different level of success of the Farm to Fork strategy. The results indicate that it provides significant development opportunities for food hubs. Especially the regulations in institutional food procurement, the internalization of the true costs and changing perceptions of the value of food are potentially beneficial. However, this requires food hubs to pay close attention to the upcoming legal regulations when making portfolio decisions. A product offer that is based on environmental and social sustainability and healthiness in addition to local origin should put them in a favorable position to benefit off of these impending changes. At the same time, food hubs need to maintain their flexibility and respond adequately to consumer preferences in order to deal with the challenge of increasing competition with conventional retailers.

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Author:Alyssa Yasmina Richter
Advisor:Frank Kramer
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2021
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2021/09/23
Tag:Alternative food networks; Farm to table; Food supply chain; Food systems
Degree Program:IBW - Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
Functional area:Business Strategy
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt