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Strengthening Alternative Agro-food Networks in the Eastern European Countryside

producing, a way of knowing’, Sociologia Ruralis , vol. 48, pp. 200-223. Goodman, D. (2002), ‘Rethinking food production-consumption: integrative perspectives’, Sociologia Ruralis , vol. 42, pp. 271-278. Goodman, D. (2004), ‘Rural Europe Redux? Reflections on Alternative Agro-Food Networks and Paradigm Change’, Sociologia Ruralis , vol. 44, pp. 3-17. Gorlach, K. (2004), Sociology of Rural Areas , Warsaw: Scholar. Goszczyński, W., Knieć, W. (2010) ‘Agriculture in net

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Working in Regional Agro-food Networks – Strengthening Rural Development through Cooperation

Abstract

Regional agro-food networks have an impact on the development of rural regions. Networks give small and medium sized enterprises the opportunity to gain access to further markets (e.g. through offering a wider common product range), to conduct more effective marketing or to synergize the variety of skills and knowhow of the network partners. Networks of the agricultural and food economy are also seen as a chance for rural regions because they can positively influence social and cultural lives as well as the natural and economic areas in regions.

We analysed regional networks of the agricultural and food economy, investigated the strengths and weaknesses in the structure of agro-food networks and developed options for action to strengthen the collaboration within the networks and their regional marketing.

In our paper we present the results of one case study in Eastern Germany. We show our findings of a strengths and weaknesses analysis and a constellation analysis. Therefore, success factors were identified and used to evaluate the networks qualitatively. In addition, we discuss how regional networks can support regional marketing and sustainable regional development.

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