You are here: Home / Workshops / Theme 2 / Workshop 2.1

Workshop 2.1

Healthy growth in value-based chains: From niche to volume with integrity and trust


Hilde Bjørkhaug, Centre for Rural Research, Trondheim, Norway
Handan Giray, Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey
Gunn-Turid Kvam, Centre for Rural Research, Trondheim, Norway
Egon Noe, Department of Agroecology - Agricultural Systems and Sustainability, University of Aarhus, Denmark

If you have any questions regarding this workshop, please turn directly to the convenors by sending an email.


Organic markets varies across Europe, but common is that organic food-chains have inherent problems in moving from niche to volume, while mainstream large-scale market chains have inherent problems in securing and advancing organic values. The Healthygrowth workshop aims to discuss examples of successful mid-scale organic value chains in order to learn more about how values are ensured in growth-processes.


Taking organic food chains as a starting point, value-based chains tend to converge either towards higher value niche products or towards conventionalisation. Smaller and more local organic food businesses and farmers tend to find it easier to communicate multiple values and build on trust than larger businesses and wholesale driven organic food chains. Smaller businesses and local marketing initiatives, however, have inherent problems in moving from niche to volume successfully. The challenge for all involved in a food chain is to maintain and advance quality, integrity and trust all along the way from the producer to the consumer, to grow in a healthy way. The Healtygrowth workshop aims to discuss approaches of successfully managing increasing quantities of organic food produce - successful in terms of maintaining product quality, trust, integrity and higher value while at the same time increasing turnover. The workshop will provide knowledge on how integrity and trust can be maintained in the growth from niche to volume, and develop general as well as locally adapted recommendations for the development of organic markets. The target groups are not only other mid-scale value chains, but also smaller organic producers, consumers, and potential new organic actors in new forms of partnership and cooperation, as well as large-scale market chains. The Healtygrowth workshop is developed by a CORE ORGANIC II project. While the workshop encourage Healthygrowth project participation in this workshop it also strongly encourage IFSA scholars to present state of the art knowledge and participate in debates on value based growth in sustainable food chains in Europe and beyond. A broader aim of the workshop is to feed knowledge into IFSA 2013 workshop theme 4 “Feeding the future with sustainable agro-food systems: Alternative production, distribution and consumption views and approaches” on building knowledge on sustainable agro-food system. Lessons learned form development of successful value based growth in organic food systems might provide valuable input to debates on sustainable production, distribution and consumption.

Workshop process

The workshop will be organised as a mix of paper presentations and discussions. Presentations will be short so that sufficient time is spent on discussion. Discussants will be appointed to all papers. In addition to peer discussions on individual papers convenors will focus success criteria’s for healthy growth and on challenges, risks and opportunities in growth processes.

This is WhiteBlack Plone Theme