Challenges and opportunities facing small producers debated at the 3rd Annual Workshop on Organic Food Products
The gathering, which was held at Món Sant Benet, served as a meeting point for stakeholders in the sector and revealed both the value that consumers attach to small brands and the opportunity this poses for both these brands and large retailers. The Director-General of the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation, Marta Lacambra, took advantage of the gathering to remind participants of the Foundation’s commitment to social and organic farming projects associated with the region and stressed the goal of turning Món Sant Benet into a benchmark food centre. “We have to be concerned with our food stock, which guarantees our diets, and with the producers who are also the ones who care for our land”, she remarked.
The workshop, which welcomed almost 250 people , unveiled the report entitled “David and Goliath Meet in the Supermarket” by the Kantar WorldPanel and the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation, which explains consumers’ increasing tendency to ask for local products in their usual supermarkets.
The high price and low availability of these products in large retailers are the two most significant barriers for consumers who say they don’t buy these products. The figures spotlight a two-fold opportunity.
The first is a challenge for large retailers to focus on local products and therefore stand out and meet their consumers’ needs while being more competitive. The second is an opportunity for small producers to grow as the large retailers carve out potential new channels where they can offer their wares and be more accessible.
In addition to presenting the study, the workshop also featured a lecture by José Esquinas, an agronomic engineer who worked for 30 years in the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation). Esquinas stressed that small producers are currently feeding the world, and he emphasised the importance of personal attitude in generating change: “Today we have more means and more resources than ever to put an end to hunger in the world”, he stated.
The last part of the workshop featured a round table on the prospects, trends and new opportunities in the organic sector, with representatives from small producers and stakeholders in the sector.