The pioneers of this work are Tolomendi and Goimen Landa Elkartea. These two rural associations shared the concern about the future of the fairs in Tolosa and Ordizia. In order to guarantee this future, they saw the obligation to put the value of the fairs in the eyes of the society, putting in value the different assets and attributes offered by the fairs. To this end, among other elements, this reflection emphasized research and measurement of the economic dimension of the fairs, in order to highlight the economic impact of the fairs on the local economy.
To carry out this study, the representatives of Tolomendi and Goimen contacted Mirene Begiristain and Eduardo Malagón, researchers from the University of the Basque Country. Taking advantage of their experience in researching the development of rural sectors and areas. Furthermore, when the idea of carrying out this reflection and study was shared with other rural development associations, the interest was shown in the participation of the Rural Development Associations (Debemen, Urkome, Alto Deba and Behemendi) that are promoting the baserritarras fairs in other parts of Gipuzkoa in the field of research and the researcher Aintzira Oñederra joined the research group.
Furthermore, it was considered necessary that the research should not only be a measurement of the economic impact, but also of the social impact, in order to have a more complete vision of the importance of these channels in the evolution of rural activity at the level of Gipuzkoa and, taking them into account, to initiate a reflection on a food strategy for the territory.
Objectives of the study:
The main objective of this project is to analyse the economic and social impact of local farmers' fairs in Gipuzkoa, developing the analysis in some main fairs. In order to fulfil this general research objective, we set the following specific objectives:
Assessment of the importance of fairs for local farmers as a marketing channel
Assessment of the importance of local fairs in the local economy
Assessment of the synergies and relationships of local fairs with other local marketing opportunities and other sectors of the local economy (services, trade, hospitality, etc.)
Analyse local fairs in the context of other farmers' marketing channels and short marketing channels (MBL) and in a territorial food strategy
To develop a methodological tool to evaluate the economic and social evolution of the SCIs that will allow to assess the impact of the strategies developed in these marketing channels
Analysis of the data collected at the ten fairs shows that the predominant gender among producers and consumers is female, i.e. the fairs have shown us their female face. Furthermore, as far as the production model is concerned, we have seen that the farmers and stockbreeders who sell at fairs have diversified production on a small scale, a production that is far removed from the ecological production model. And as for the consumption model, we have noticed that people come to the fair to buy quality food and local products.
[You can find more conclusions in the research]
Projection of future fairs
The study shows us that the profile of the producers we will find in the future fair will be that of the specialized farmer, who will be in charge of selling processed or organic products, and who, in addition to the fairs, will work on other short marketing routes. In fact, these are the characteristics that refer to the young producers of the current fairs. In order to ensure that this profile of producer is taken over at the fairs, we believe it is essential to make it as easy as possible for them to find a place at the fair and, in addition to other forms of marketing, to perceive the fair as an ideal sales channel.
On the other hand, as far as consumers are concerned, in addition to seeking quality and indigenous products, the youngest buyers have observed that they consume processed and/or organic foods, in line with the products sold by the profile of young farmers that we have identified. In short, they are citizens who are committed to a healthy consumption model.
We cannot forget that fairs are spaces with a significant social impact. Thus, in the words of the youngest producers: the fairs are sales channels that combine the educational sphere, to highlight the products produced in the village itself or the productive model of the farmhouses, spaces for socialisation, spaces that allow the rural environment to be brought closer to the villages and cities, spaces that include relations based on cultural transmission, channels that allow new social economic models to be built, etc. Therefore, it is essential that the fair not only allows the sale of ecological products, but also preserves the character of these "living" spaces, especially to adapt them to an aging society and to move from being a point of purchase of occasional processed products to being a point of sale for acquiring healthy, everyday foods.
In order to maintain the dynamics of the fairs, we consider it essential to reflect on the management model and develop strategies adapted to the reality of the fairs. In the analyzed fairs we have detected a lack of collaboration between different agents and/or negligence in the management of the fairs. The participation, commitment and collaboration of the different agents related to the fair should be ensured in order to guarantee the future of the fairs, by creating horizontal decision-making structures. The decision making about the main objectives of the fairs, the participation criteria, the role and place of the resellers, the model of production and market, the coordination and articulation between the baserritarras, the relations that are intended to be developed with other fairs and short commercialization channels, the role of the public agents, the indicators to monitor the dynamics of the fairs and measure the degree of fulfillment of the objectives, alliances and collaboration with the managers of other fairs, etc.
In addition, the different agents must internalize the governance model and demonstrate responsibility and capacity to deal with various problems, among others: the distribution of value between consumers and producers, the asymmetries that may occur in the issue of eternal prices, the solution to logistics and the retail industry, the degree of capacity of the fairs to meet the food needs of the municipality of the fair, the maintenance and regulation of public infrastructure, etc.
Finally, we consider it desirable that the different agents take into account the economic and social impact of the fairs. For this reason, as they are spaces that remain invisible, it is important to socialise and highlight the data we have collected in this study. However, it should be noted that the sample collected in this study includes the weekly fairs, so to this influence should be added that of the special fairs, with a significant indirect economic impact, over and above those we have received.
You can download the study at http://www.goimen.org/docs/AZOKEN_eragin_Ekonom_eta_sozia_DEF.pdf
- Familiarising and reflecting
- Local institution