Eszterházy Károly College Faculty of Natural Sciences
The fourth comprehensive axis of the Agricultural Policy of the European Union, the LEADER programme’s basic characteristic the support of local activities which focus on rural economy improvement. For this reason the high standard improvement of local products occurs as an important factor.
Within the confines of the LEADER + initiation , the objectives of the increase of the local products ’ added value appears in the case of the 20 % of local action groups (LAG-s) , hereby initiation towards local product development has become the third most popular pillars among the objectives of the LEADER + programme. Eventually, this initiations not only directs at increasing the added values of local product but, in addition to that involves the promoting of local small farmers market reaching- that is based on joint cooperation. This latest objective has been given more emphasis recently, since in the case of the majority of the project the local products reaching to larger markets is still considered to be a crucial condition, regarding profitability and long-term sustainability perspective. Several case studies have proven that not only the added values mean important criterion but in the same way the improvement of extensive marketing activities are also necessary , respectively also the branding and the promotion of a given product are also important.
Besides the originality and quality of the product, added value derives from the role of locality. This mean that LEADER+ groups has to emphasize - by exploiting local facilities - what makes local product unique, peculiar and hereby authentic. Notwithstanding the putting forward of the production and manufacturing which comply with environment-awareness and sustainably requirements is an important aspect. In an ideal case, in the course of the development and evaluation of a strategy what belts the local products, every coefficient, which represent added value, may has been involved in the project. In this manner it is possible to create and overall and innovative approach, for the sake of processing, disposal and distribution of a locally manufactured cereals.
Several LEADER+ projects may be highlighted, which aim at the increasing the added value of local products. In the past years increasing awareness was observable in the definition of the real and added value of the local foodstuffs and product, not only in the aspect of their contribution to the future competitiveness of micro-ventures, but the claims of environment sustainably, sanitation, local and regional culture or rural tourism more and more have come to the fore. It follows that initiations oftentimes trend to the support cooperation among the manufacturers, dealers and consumers of the qualitative and unique local products, and for the sake of a high degree of cooperation, entirely from manufacturing proceeding to the positioning to final costumers.
The initiators of local products related projects in general are the self-organized groups of farmers and growers, who regard the amendment of the farmers ‘ market conditions, the support of a wider range of opportunities of merchants and wholesalers to the primary purpose of their attainment in the course of the cooperation.
The LEADER+ provides an excellent opportunity for local farmers for provide the competitiveness of their product, nevertheless the program integrates local participant to the system of market networks. This kind of initiations can be regarded as a kind of solution, alternative in the elimination of those problems which derive from the increasing centralized foodstuff production and from the wide range of food supply that is based on commercial and manufacturer interest. The LEADER + programme shows and excellent example of the practical realization of the grassroots initiation of food-supply network chain. It is closely integrated to the principle of subsolidarity defined in the LEADER programme. Furthermore positive impacts on the culture and tourism of a region which were induced by the projects may also be highlighted. (LEADER+ MAGAZINE 2005)