Consumers are increasingly valuing, healthy,natural, environmentally friendly and local products which are part of an area’s heritage. Some restaurants aim to differentiate themselves by supporting this trend. New market opportunities have emerged for rural products. A study carried out by the Basque Statistical Institute-Eustat, the Basque Government, the Ministry of Environment and the Basque agricultural cooperatives, have enumerated the main concerns and business opportunities of the small artisanal producers.
Defenders of the commercialization known as the local loop, which means, selling local rural products, highlights the advantages of the direct relationship between the producer and the consumer, therefore increasing the benefits of the producers and improving the development of local economy, improving the exploitation of the product, and reducing environmental costs (packaging and transport). It is important to highlight the importance of direct negotiations of prices and payments in an existing globalised market.
According to the data requested in a survey by the farmer’s associations, there is a large number of rural commercialization initiatives. In Spain as well, there are many initiatives but compared to the rest of the EU, there is a very low percentage of uptake.
What are the main worries of these small, local, producers? Legal aspects, lack of demand, implementation costs, lack of awareness of sales models, and finally the complexity of food production technology and the small size of local markets.
Artisans demand greater flexibility from sanitary regulations, the development of new sanitation approval processes that promote small businesses, and lastly awareness raising campaigns and institutional support for local produce.