Small-scale farming in rural areas : logistical challenges with direct distribution
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- Working paper 
This article reviews Norwegian farmers’ and companies’ strategies and experience with the use of direct distribution and e-commerce when selling agriculture products. Based on the opportunities and pitfalls resulting from the use of Internet and e-commerce in consumer marketing, the article discusses the commercial possibilities emerging from direct distribution of agricultural products to end-consumers. The focus on direct distribution is brought up to date through studying the challenges facing small-scale rural farmers complying with volume- and efficiency requirements set by the major wholesaler- and retailer chains. The article points to several market and logistic pitfalls that must be dealt with if farmers can hope to succeed with the implementation of a direct distribution strategy instead of selling their products through conventional marketing channels. Since the interest for direct distribution strategies is more driven by policy changes in the wholesaler chains, rather than pronounced changes in consumers’ buying behaviour, there is an extra challenge for farmers to succeed with such a marketing strategy. At best, new distribution channels for agricultural products produced by small-scale farmers in rural areas can contribute to slow down depopulation in districts where the farmers have the opportunity to carry out income-producing work in alternative occupations.
PublisherHandelshøgskolen i Bodø