SMARTCHAIN - Socioeconomic sustainability of short food supply chains - Questionnaire to farmers and producers

SMARTCHAIN ( is an ambitious, 3 years project with 43 partners from 11 European countries including key stakeholders from the domain of short food supply chain as actors in the project. The central objective is to foster and accelerate the shift towards collaborative short food supply chains and, through concrete actions and recommendations, to introduce new robust business models and innovative practical solutions that enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the European agri-food system.

Using bottom-up, demand-driven research, the SMARTCHAIN consortium is:
i) performing a multi-perspective analysis of 18 case studies of short food supply chains in terms of technological, regulatory, social, economic and environmental factors,
ii) assessing the linkages and interactions among all stakeholders involved in short food supply chains  
iii) identifying the key parameters that influence sustainable food production and rural development among different regions in Europe.

The project has established 9 national communities of short food supply chains (Innovation and Collaboration Hubs) in different partner countries (France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland) and a virtual innovation hub in order to facilitate stakeholder engagement, bringing farmers and consumers together in a trust-enhancing environment enabling them to generate demand driven-innovations. Combination of scientific and practical knowledge and the use of innovation workshops is enabling the development of practical innovative solutions as well as the promotion of a framework for different forms of collaborative short food supply chains in urban and rural areas. SMARTCHAIN is generating concrete actions for knowledge transfer, through the organisation of multi-stakeholder workshops and training activities for farmers and short food supply chain entrepreneurs.


We understand the idea of Short food supply chain as the reduction of the distance between producer and consumer, with the aim to improve the transparency, efficiency and sustainability of food supply chains, reducing the number of intermediaries and empowering the producer position within the value chain.


With this questionnaire, we aim to assess the socioeconomic sustainability of SFSC, from farmers and producers' perspective: why do they choose to distribute their products through SFSC? What are for them the advantages and disadvantages to work with such food supply chains, in comparison with conventional big distribution?

If you have any doubt or question about this questionnaire or about the project, do not hesitate to contact us: 

Thanks a lot for filling this questionnaire! Your knowledge and experience will provide us precious information about food supply chains socioeconomic sustainability.

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I am...
Working Status
Clear selection
Type of organization
Type of product you produce/handle
Approximate anual turnover
Clear selection
Are you (or have you been) involved in short food supply chain(s) (SFSC)?
Within SMARTCHAIN Project, “short food supply chain” means a supply chain involving a limited number of economic operators (no more than one), committed to co-operation, local economic development, and close geographical and social relations between producers, processors and consumers
Clear selection
If yes, how long?
In years.
If yes, please shortly describe the kind of short food supply chain(s) you are involved in
Are you also working (or have you ever been working before) with conventional big distribution retailers (conventional wholesalers, etc.)?
Clear selection
If yes, please shortly describe how
What are the most important advantages you find in distributing through short food supply chains?
From 0 (totally disagree, it is not a relevant advantage) to 5 (totally agree, it is a big advantage)
0 (totally disagree, it is not a relevant advantage)
5 (totally agree, it is a big advantage)
Increased bargaining power: I can negotiate better the commercialisation of my products
Higher prices: I get a better price from my products
Makes my business model more robust and resilient
Direct relationship with the consumers
I keep the control on my product till the end of the value chain
The relationships within the value chain and with consumers is more convivial (in contrast with impersonal)
There is more solidarity and cooperation within the value chain and with consumers (in contrast with competitiveness)
I feel better integrated in my local community
Strengthening of local and circular economy (synergies between (local) companies and businesses in the use and reuse of wastes and resources)
Increased social recognition of my work
Positive effect on my self-esteem
Makes my job more diverse and interesting
Better quality of life
Better working conditions
Better salary
Fairer trading practices (e.g., timely payments for perishable food products, no last-minute order cancellations, no unilateral changes to contracts, no denial to enter into a written contract)
Clear selection
Please, indicate the 3 main advantages of distributing your products through short food supply chains
Please, indicate the 3 main advantages of distributing through conventional big distribution Please, indicate the 3 main advantages of distributing through conventional big distribution channels
If you have experienced both short food supply chains and conventional big distribution, do you prefer one over the other? Please, shortly explain why
What have been the main reasons you got involved in short food supply chain(s)?
From 0 (not a motivation at all) to 5 (very strong motivation)
0 (not a motivation at all)
5 (very strong motivation)
To get a better price out of my products
To diversify my distribution channels and increase the resilience of my business model
To get involved in my local community and economy
To create a direct relationship with the consumers of my products
To make my job more interesting and diverse
Because I was unhappy with conventional commercialisation channels and unfair practices
To keep my product under control until the end of the value chain
Clear selection
Are there other reasons? Please explain them briefly.
Apart from food production, do you develop other activities on your farm/business? If yes, which kind of activities?
Is food production the main activity of your business?
Clear selection
Has COVID19 crisis had an impact on your business?
Clear selection
Please, briefly explain how
Clear form
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