Project: Healthy growth: From niche to volume with integrity and trust

Organic markets are different in different European countries, but common to all is that local organic market chains have inherent problems in moving from niche to volume, and mainstream large-scale market chains have inherent problems in securing and advancing organic values. HEALTHYGROWTH aims to investigate a range of successful mid-scale organic value chains in order to learn how they are able to combine volume and values, and to use this knowledge of the prerequisites for healthy growth to support the further development of the organic markets. The project builds on the following hypotheses, derived from previous research: 1) these mid-scale value chains are based on new forms of organisations and partnerships between farmers, businesses and consumers, and a different form of marketing logic and strategies than either small- or large-scale chains; 2) this enables them to combine growth in volume with a high and growing level of organic values throughout the market chain as a sound foundation for organic integrity and consumer trust; 3) these new organisational forms constitute a substantial potential for development and growth of organic markets; and 4) lessons learned from the successful mid-scale chains will provide new options for small-scale producers to act and compete on the market while ensuring a premium prize for their added organic values. The research work will be done in a close cooperation and interaction between the eleven partners. In-depth case studies of mid-scale organic value chains will be carried out in nine participating countries, followed by a comparative analysis across countries. The cross-country comparison of value chain cases will be based on six different research perspectives, plus a multi-perspectival meta-analysis, to obtain a nuanced and coherent understanding of the underlying mechanisms and principles for healthy growth. Stakeholder involvement in joint learning processes and transnational dissemination of the results are planned as a dynamic and integrated part of the project in order to share and adapt knowledge between countries and to enhance network building among actors within regions and across borders. The project 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

Acronym HealthyGrowth
Duration 01/04/2013 - 31/03/2016
Website visit project website
Network CORE Organic II
Call Second call of CORE Organic II

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Aarhus University - Department of Agroecology Coordinator Denmark
2 Royal Institute of Technology Sweden
3 French National Institute for Agricultural Research France
4 Centre for Rural Research Norway
5 University of Maribor Slovenia
6 University of Innsbruck Austria
7 Süleyman Demirel University Turkey
8 MTT Agrifood Research Finland Finland
9 Eberswalde University of Applied Sciences Germany
10 General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies - Fruit Research Station Turkey
11 Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics Lithuania