Many farmers are suffering a reduction in their incomes, brought about by the need to limit production of crops in surplus and the consequent decrease in financial returns obtained from their crops. Diversification activities are sought to replace crops in surplus and to provide additional sources of income. One such possibility is that of farm based food processing where the profit margins, normally accruing to the food industries, generate additional added value to the farm activities and create opportunities for rural employment.
The project has a number of objectives which may be summarized as follows:
to ascertain the products and extent of farm-based food processors in the participant countries;
to understand the interaction of farm-based food processing and farming in terms of their use of farm-based resources;
to examine the business organization, enterprise evolution, production technology, marketing and distribution channels;
to identify inhibiting factors to enterprise development (eg food hygiene regulations, marketing);
to evaluate the potential in sustaining the farm business and in generating rural employment and income;
to identify the market for farm processed products and characteristics of the demand and consumers;
to draw international comparisons, highlighting strengths an weaknesses.
Diversification activities are sought for farmers to replace crops in surplus and to provide additional sources of income. One such possibility is that of farm based food processing where the profit margins, normally accruing to the food industries, generate additional added value to the farm activities and create opportunities for rural employment.
The construction of national databases of farm-based food processors is well advanced in some countries. The United Kingdom database, for example, consists of around 4500 entries. These databases will serve additionally as the population from which samples are drawn for farm based processor surveys. A producer and processor questionnaire has been agreed and coding is now being added to facilitate statistical analysis of the survey information that will be collected. The first draft of a consumer questionnaire has been discussed and a final draft is in preparation. This questionnaire will establish the socioeconomic profile of purchasers and nonpurchasers of farm processed products and of the factors which affect their purchasing decisions.
The project will focus primarily on surplus products in the milk and meat sectors. A databases will be constructed of farm-based food processors and a detailed questionnaire sent to a selection of these. A consumer survey will also be carried out.
AB9 1UD Aberdeen