Strategies for supporting market linkages among stakeholders in food systems can be a win-win-win for primary food producers, retailers and wholesalers, and consumers or caterers. By linking producers to consumers at a local scale, market linkage initiatives can provide marketing, retailing and sales, and distribution of a diverse range of products, through one initiative. This can simplify the process of marketing and distribution for producers and retailers while giving the consumer access to a range of fresh, local produce.
This discussion paper considers market linkage strategies for food systems at a local scale, from city to regional, in the UK. It primarily considers strategies which support the sale, distribution and consumption of agroecologically-produced food from small- to medium-sized farms. With reference to relevant literature, from the UK and elsewhere, the paper outlines case studies of market linkage initiatives, considering why they were established, how they operate, and what strategies have been successful or unsuccessful. These case studies are examined in order to draw potential lessons for the city of Brighton & Hove, and the paper concludes with recommendations for the city.
This briefing was produced by the ISSC-funded ‘Pathways’ Transformative Knowledge Network.