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Community financing for sustainable food and farming: a proximity perspective.

Authors
  • Behrendt, Gerlinde1
  • Peter, Sarah2
  • Sterly, Simone2
  • Häring, Anna Maria1
  • 1 Unit Policy and Markets in the Agro-Food Sector, Faculty of Landscape Management and Nature Conservation, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Schicklerstraße 5, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 International Perspectives, Agricultural Policy and Rural Development, Institute for Rural Development Research at Goethe University Frankfurt, Kurfürstenstraße 49, 60486 Frankfurt, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Agriculture and human values
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Volume
39
Issue
3
Pages
1063–1075
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10460-022-10304-7
PMID: 35340995
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

An increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the German organic agri-food sector involves citizens through different community financing models. While such models provide alternative funding sources as well as marketing opportunities to SMEs, they allow private investors to combine their financial and ethical concerns by directly supporting the development of a more sustainable food system. Due to the low level of financial intermediation, community financing is characterized by close relations between investors and investees. Against this background, we apply the proximity concept from economic geography to explore spatial and relational aspects of community financing in the German organic agri-food sector. Based on a qualitative multiple case study approach, we find that the relevance of proximity is twofold. While different forms of proximity between SMEs and their potential investors are key success factors, proximity is also considered as one desired outcome of community financing. Furthermore, our results reveal that the extent to which SMEs rely on particular proximity dimensions distinguishes two different approaches to community financing. © The Author(s) 2022.

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