The aim of this project is to study a range of successful mid-scale food value chains and show the fundamental prerequisites for their success in combining volume and values in order to support the development of new organic value chains and provide new opportunities for organic actors.

To achieve this aim the objectives are:
1) To explore what characterises successful food value chains, and to describe the strengths and weaknesses of different organizational forms and pathways.
2) To analyse and extract the main principles and lessons learned and jointly derive the main mechanisms and generalizable organizational principles underlying successful food value chains – taking into account the contextual importance of national, cultural and geographical settings.
3) To support exchange of knowledge, network building and cooperation between (currently involved and potential future) actors, and jointly develop locally adapted recommendations for improvements.
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. 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.
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