The French multifunctional model and the short food supply chain as adaptable examples in the case of small and selfsubsistence farms in the EU new member states
Languages of publication
For the countries of the Central Europe, the regional policy measures which concentrate on the maintenance of the small and medium sized producer’s units and are trying to find solutions to the worsening negative circumstances for the family farms (in the EU-12, 68.5% of farms are regarded as being semi-self-subsistent [Statistical… 2010, p. 85] are particularly important. It is unanimously acknowledged that for these farms it is not the support through supplementary income found in the 1st axis that gives a chance of survival (it rather piles difficulties up on them because of the additional cost of administration and protection of the environment), which is rather helpful for the producers of large quantities in complying with the processes of world markets, but it is the support given for the maintenance of the environment and the programmes serving to strengthen connection to the local and regional markets that can produce results (presently 2nd axis). The endeavours mentioned above provide some possibilities of protection and long-term survival of multifunctional, small size family farms, which at the same time produce quality goods, and of warding the hectic changes in the free markets off. Among the countries of Western Europe, it is France that could provide especially useful examples in the course of reformation of the European support system, because the French government and the rural stakeholders have been following their aim, almost for two decades, of the effective development of direct selling (in French vente directe) and short food provision systems (in French circuits courts) through which they preserve those agricultural structures that are built on family connections. The subject of this paper is adaptation possibilities of the French direct marketing model, which evolved for the preservation of multifunctional family farms and warding of the hectic changes in marketing conditions off. It provided proof in the past decade that it is not only the intensive industrial production that can be competitive and viable, but also the small size, multifunctional farms, close to nature, that support one or two families, can provide effective perspectives for the renewal of the prime sector and the agriculture of Europe. If the good practices of Western Europe, and within it France, can be employed in the region of the Eastern and Central Europe, this will contribute to the reduction of distances between country areas, to the uplift of those areas that lag behind and are subdued to a measure of poverty.
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