Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Future development of organic market in Europe - Scenario analysis results

Use of scenario analysis, a tool for systematic strategic thinking and planning, allows anticipation of the future environment for organic farming and Organic Marketing Initiatives up to the year 2010. It involves identification of the forces that drive a system and examination of the interaction of current trends and uncertainties within a given market domain and time frame. This application is based on four different scenarios. Key issues covered include trade liberalisation and the framework of competition between companies; regulation, including environmental and rural development measures, certification standards and the scale of marketing operations; regionalism, including consumers’ attitudes toward products of regional origin and the stimulation of farmers’ initiatives; and the level of economic welfare in Europe.

Scenarios involving strong trade liberalisation in the food market and a reduction in regionalisation would present the biggest challenge for OMIs; on the other hand, a move towards increased regionalism with an effective regulatory framework, even with ongoing trade liberalisation, would strengthen OMIs’ activities. The scenarios were developed to test strategic business options for Organic Marketing Initiatives. These were: continuous quality management; diversification into services; product innovation and development; horizontal cooperation; supply chain enhancement; developing consumer relations; developing regional economic, social and research networks; developing product-place identity; segmentation and branding; and improving management and workforce skills.

Maintaining, and reinforcing, regional differentiation of food products appears, as be a necessary condition for the development OMIs, while liberalisation does not necessarily have negative effects. Liberalisation of world markets, EU enlargement and food scares are all factors that might boost demand for organic products due to an increase in concerns about food safety. Organic products might become strongly preferred as they represent a safeguard, reassuring consumer concerns about health. GMOs and food scandals in the conventional sector can generate a strong shift in consumers’ preferences in favour of organic products. Crucial factors across the four scenarios are those related to information about organic products: action taken to increase available knowledge relating to the organic sector and organic products, such as visible labelling, media coverage and advertising, may prove effective in supporting the demand for organic products in the future.

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Universita Politecnica delle Marche
Via Brecce Bianche
60131 ANCONA
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