Nourishing Networks - Fourteen lessons about creating sustainable food supply chains
Edited by Dirk Roep and Han Wiskerke

Table of Contents

Published by Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University and Reed Business Information, Doetinchem
Available from June 22, 2006; order at


This book offers an empirically grounded perspective into the creation of sustainable food
supply chains and networks. Building upon experiences from seven different European
countries, this book presents a rich diversity of examples of food supply chain initiatives.
From this diversity of experiences fourteen valuable lessons are drawn that are applicable to a
wide range of different conditions and contexts. They are the kind of lessons that need to be
borne in mind when becoming involved in the (re)construction of sustainable food networks.
One of the interesting findings in this respect is that direct and regional marketing initiatives
do generate additional income and employment for rural regions, although the degree to
which they do so differs. In addition they enable synergies with other regional economic
activities and often contribute to an increase in job satisfaction and organisational capacity
within rural communities, greater consumer trust in food systems, and reductions in food
miles or waste. In more marginal areas, these benefits can help counter the abandonment of
agriculture, out-migration and ‘greying’ populations.
These findings are of interest for those seeking to enhance sustainable rural and regional
development, in particular policy makers who often face difficult decisions over what type of
initiatives and development patterns they should support or promote. Policy is about making
choices: over who and what to support, when, and how to provide this support in the most
effective way. This book convincingly shows that a great range of instruments and approaches
is available for creating a more favourable environment for the development of sustainable
food networks.
The lessons and recommendations in this book are also relevant for practitioners and their
supporters, as these can help them to position themselves, develop a clear strategy, find the
right allies, develop their skills and build the capacities that they need. It can not only help
practitioners to find the right road, but also to travel along it better equipped.

Michel Delebarre
President of the Committee of the Regions

Table of Contents

1 Nourishing networks: a grounded perspective on sustainable food provision
  Han Wiskerke, Dirk Roep
2 Developing a supportive institutional environment
  Avairs Tabuns, Laura Suna, Aija Zobena
    Latvian Beef Cattle Breeders Association
3 Creating space for change
  Henk Oostindie, Pieterjan Brandsma, Dirk Roep
    De Hoeve pork supply chain
4 A strategic alliance with chain partners
  Lieve Vercauteren
    Biomelk Vlaanderen
5 Willingness to invest in a shared enterprise
  Anne Vuylsteke, Guido Van Huylenbroeck
    De Westhoek Hoeveproducten
6 Mobilising investment capital for scaling up
  Claudia Strauch, Karlheinz Knickel, Burkhard Schaer
    Upländer Bauern molkerei
7 Anticipating the implications of scaling up
  Peter Damary
8 A visionary and capable leader
  Talis Tisenkopfs, Sandra Sumane
    Rankas Piens Dairy
9 Building a strong brand
  Natasja Oerlemans, Eric Hees
    BeemsterKaas of the CONO dairy co-operative
10 A flexible procurement system for local sourcing
  Bill Vorley, Andrew Fearne, Matthew Pitts, Will Farmer
    Supermarket sourcing of local and regional food
11 Regional marketing as basic security
  Gianluca Brunori, Raffaella Cerruti, Stefania Medeot, Adanella Rossi
    The organic beef initiative of the Cooperativa Agricola Firenzuola
12 Regional embedding as a marketing strategy
  Burkhard Schaer, Karlheinz Knickel, Claudia Strauch
    Tegut supermarket and Rhöngut meat processing
13 Specificity as a key in aligning regional interests
  Gianluca Brunori, Raffaella Cerruti, Stefania Medeot, Adanella Rossi
    Pecorino di Pistoia: on-farm made sheep cheese of raw milk
14 Promotion of regional identity
  Sophie Réviron
    Pain de seigle du Valais AOC (Valais Rye Bread PDO)
15 Public sector food procurement through partnerships
  James Kirwan, Carolyn Foster
    The Cornwall Food Programme
16 Enhancing sustainable food supply chain initiatives
  Karlheinz Knickel, Gundula Jahn, Dirk Roep, Han Wiskerk