Crowds, solidarity agriculture, profit sharing rights, civic corporations and land-purchase cooperatives – these are welcome alternatives for businesses if that fails with a classic bank loan. "In our BioFinanz project, we found that farm managers in the food value chain use these alternatives not only as funding but also often as a marketing tool," says Gerlinde Behrendt, an academic associate at HNEE. Internal case studies have found that respondents see financing models as an investment in internal marketing and customer relationships. For undoubtedly, many alternative forms are associated with long-term exchanges with consumers or large bureaucracy. For example, setting up a cooperative allows direct contact between consumers and farmers in the form of general meetings and court visits. "Consumers get to know the producers directly where the food comes from and how it is processed," HNEE scientists explain.
In the first working document, the research team summarized and published these observations and findings. In the second step, we now want to find out how farm managers are specifically informed about alternative financing options. "Finally, BioFinanz's goal is to create a platform that comprehensively informs the advantages and disadvantages of individual financing options in such a way that is understandable and attractive from the point of view of the target groups," says Gerlinde Behrendt.
An online survey is now available. You can participate until the end of September.

About the project
The BioFinanz collaboration project from HNEE and the Institute for Rural Structural Research at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main (IfLS) is funded under the federal program "Organic Agriculture and Other Sustainable Agriculture" (BÖLN) with just under € 200,000, Foundation for Ecology and Agriculture (SÖL) and the Federal Association of Natural Foods with Natural Food (BNN) are also involved in its implementation.

Scientific contact:
Gerlinde Behrendt
Academic Assistant, BioFinanz Project
Department of Landscape Use and Conservation
Phone: 03334 657-456

Simone Sterly
Institute for Rural Development Research (IfLS)
Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main
Phone: 069 972 6683-15

Original issues:

idw 2019/08