The supply-side of the organic food market in the light of relations between farmers and distributors


organic farming
supply side of an organic food market
intensity of the stakeholder’s relations

How to Cite

Kociszewski, Karol, Joanna Krupowicz, Andrzej Graczyk, Magdalena Sobocińska, and Krystyna Mazurek-Łopacińska. 2024. “The Supply-Side of the Organic Food Market in the Light of Relations Between Farmers and Distributors”. Economics and Environment 88 (1): 698.


Organic farming is one of the main directions of the EU’s farm-to-fork strategy in connection with the European Green Deal. In Poland, organic farming developed dynamically from the accession to the European Union until 2013 and then slowed down. This is a good reason to investigate the conditions affecting the supply side of organic food, especially that the distribution system hardly absorbs the production potential of Polish organic farming. There are few studies with in-depth analysis of relationships between farms and distributors. The research objectives adopted in this paper are the assessment of the intensity of the relations between farmers and organic food distributors. The analysis is based on desk research and the results of a survey of 120 owners of certified organic farms and 120 representatives of shops offering organic products. The results of the analysis show that there are many shops that are supplied by farmers (with a high intensity of relations with farmers) and, at the same time, few farmers selling their products to shops (with a low intensity of relations). Along with the low intensity of farmers’ relations with food processors, this is one of the main barriers to supply development.



Asian, S., Hafezalkotob, A., & John, J. J. (2019). Sharing economy in organic food supply chains: A pathway to sustainable development. International Journal of Production Economics, 218, 322-338.

Baez, Y. P., Sequeira, M., & Hilletofth, P. (2020). Local and organic food distribution systems: Towards a future agenda. Operations and Supply Chain Management, 13(4), 336-348.

Baron, H., & Dimitri, C. (2019). Relationships along the organic supply chain. British Food Journal, 121(3), 771-786.

Bock, A. K., Bontoux, L., & Rudkin, J. (2022). Concepts for a sustainable EU food system.

Bosona, T., & Gebresenbet, G. (2018). Swedish Consumers’ Perception of Food Quality and Sustainability in Relation to Organic Food Production. Foods, 7(4), 54.

Bryła, P. (2016). Organic food consumption in Poland: Motives and barriers. Appetite, 105, 737-746.

Buck, D., Getz, C., & Guthman, J. (1997). From Farm to Table: The Organic Vegetable Commodity Chain of Northern California. Sociologia Ruralis, 37(1), 3-20.

Clark, L. F. (2015). The changing politics of organic food in North America. USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Constance, D. H., Choi, J. Y., & Lara, D. (2015). Engaging the organic conventionalization debate. In B. Freyer & J. Bingen (Eds.), Re-Thinking Organic Food and Farming in a Changing World (pp. 161-185). Dordrecht: Springer.

Enjolras, G., & Aubert, M. (2018). Short food supply chains and the issue of sustainability: a case study of French fruit producers. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 46(2), 194-209.

European Commission. (2020). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system, Pub. L. No. 52020DC0381.

European Commission. (2021). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, On an Action Plan for the Development of Organic Production, Pub. L. No. 52021DC0141.

Gajdić, D., Petljak, K., & Mesić, Ž. (2018). An Exploration of Distribution Channels: Challanges and Opportunities for Organic Food Producers in Croatia. Economics of Agriculture, 65(4), 1461-1482.

Garner, B., & Ayala, C. (2018). Consumer supply-chain demands and challenges at farmers’ markets. British Food Journal, 120(12), 2734-2747.

German, L. A., Bonanno, A. M., Foster, L. C., & Cotula, L. (2020). “Inclusive business” in agriculture: Evidence from the evolution of agricultural value chains. World Development, 134, 105018.

Górska-Warsewicz, H., Żakowska-Biemans, S., Czeczotko, M., Świątkowska, M., Stangierska, D., Świstak, E., Bobola, A., Szlachciuk, J., & Krajewski, K. (2018). Organic Private Labels as Sources of Competitive Advantage—The Case of International Retailers Operating on the Polish Market. Sustainability, 10(7), 2338.

Górska-Warsewicz, H., Żakowska-Biemans, S., Stangierska, D., Świątkowska, M., Bobola, A., Szlachciuk, J., Czeczotko, M., Krajewski, K., & Świstak, E. (2021). Factors ´ Limiting the Development of the Organic Food Sector—Perspective of Processors, Distributors, and Retailers. Agriculture, 11, 882.

Götze, F., Mann, S., Ferjani, A., Kohler, A., & Heckelei, T. (2016). Explaining market shares of organic food: evidence from Swiss household data. British Food Journal, 118(4), 931-945.

Graczyk, A. (2016). Development of the organic food supply in Poland. In A. Graczyk & K. Mazurek-Łopacińska (Eds.), Organic food market in Poland (pp. 33-42). Wrocław: Publishing House of Wrocław University of Economics.

Grzybowska-Brzezińska, M., & Gorlowa, O. (2019). Conditions for the establishment of distribution channels in the organic food market. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 51(1), 35-42.

Guthman, J. (2004). Back to the land: the paradox of organic food standards. Environment and Planning A: Ecocomy and Space, 36(3), 511-528.

Hamzaoui-Essoussi, L., & Zahaf, M. (2008). Decision making process of community organic food consumers: an exploratory study. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25(2), 95-104.

Hamzaoui-Essoussi, L., & Zahaf, M. (2012). Production and Distribution of Organic Foods: Assessing the Added Values. In P. Konvalina (Ed.), Organic Farming and Food Production. IntechOpen.

Ilbery, B., Courtney, P., Kirwan, J., & Maye, D. (2010). Marketing concentration and geographical dispersion: A survey of organic farms in England and Wales. British Food Journal, 112(9), 962-975.

Jarczok-Guzy, M. (2018). Obstacles to the development of the organic food market in Poland and the possible directions of growth. Food Science & Nutrition, 6(6), 1462-1472.

Kneafsey, M., Venn, L., Schmutz, U., Balasz, B., Trenchard, L., Eyden-Wood, T., Bos, E., Sutton, G., Blackett, M., Santini, F., Gomez, Y., & Paloma, S. (2013). Short Food Supply Chains and Local Food Systems in the EU. A State of Play of their Socio-Economic Characteristics. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Kociszewski, K. (2022). Perspectives of Polish Organic Farming Development in the Aspect of the European Green Deal. Economics and Environment, 81(2), 154-167.

Kociszewski, K., & Graczyk, A. (2021). Rozwój podaży na rynku rolniczych produktów ekologicznych w Polsce. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego we Wrocławiu. (in Polish).

Kociszewski, K., Graczyk, A., Mazurek-Łopacińska, K., & Sobocińska, M. (2020). Social values in stimulating organic production involvement in farming—The case of Poland. Sustainability, 12(15), 5945.

Koreleska, E. (2017). Production and market of ecological product in Poland. Proceedings of the 8th International Scientific Conference Rural Development, Kaunas, Lithuania, 1119-1123.

Kottila, M. R. (2009). Knowledge sharing in organic food supply chains. Journal on Chain and Network Science, 9(2), 133-144.

Label Insight. (2016). How Consumer Demand for Transparency is shaping the food industry. The 2016 Label Insight Food Revolution Study.

Lockie, S., & Halpin, D. (2005). The 'conventionalisation' thesis reconsidered: structural and ideological transformation of Australian organic agriculture. Sociologia Ruralis, 45(4), 284-307.

Łuczka, W. (2016). The changes on the organic food market. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 42(4), 597-605.

Łuczka, W. (2019). Changes in the behavior of organic food consumers. Economics and Environment, 70(3), 14.

Łuczka, W., & Kalinowski S. (2020). Barriers to the Development of Organic Farming: A Polish Case Study. Agriculture, 10, 536.

Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi. (2022). Ramowy Plan Działań dla Żywności i Rolnictwa Ekologicznego w Polsce na lata 2021-2030. (in Polish).

Najwyższa Izba Kontroli. (2019). Wspieranie rozwoju rolnictwa ekologicznego. Informacja o wynikach kontroli. (in Polish).

Nuutila, J., & Kurppa, S. (2017). Two main challenges that prevent the development of an organic food chain at local and national level—An exploratory study in Finland. Organic Agriculture, 7, 379-394.

Orsini, S., Padel, S., Gambelli, D., Lernoud, J., Sanders, J., Solfanelli, F., Stolze, M., Willer, H., & Zanolli, R. (2020). Beyond “mainstream” and “alternative” in organic food supply chains: Empirical examples of added value distribution from eight European countries. British Food Journal, 122(3), 798-812.

Renting, H., Marsden, T., & Banks, J. (2003). Understanding alternative food networks: Exploring the role of short food supply chains in rural development. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 35(3), 393-411.

Saitone, T. L., & Sexton, R. J. (2017). Agri-food supply chain: evolution and performance with conflicting consumer and societal demands. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 44(4), 634-657.

Scalvedi, M. L., & Saba, A. (2018). Exploring local and organic food consumption in a holistic sustainability view. British Food Journal, 120(4), 749-762.

van der Ploeg, J. (2009). The New Peasantries: Struggles for Autonomy and Sustainability in an Era of Empire and Globalization. London: Earthscan Dunstan House.

Verhoosel, J., van Bekkum, M., & Verwaart, T. (2018). Semantic interoperability for data analysis in the food supply chain. International Journal on Food System Dynamics, 9(1), 101-111.

Vieira, L., Barcellos, M., Hoppe, A., & da Silva, S. (2013). An analysis of value in an organic food supply chain. British Food Journal, 115(10), 1454-1472.

Vlahović, B., Dubravka Użar, D., & Skartarić, G. (2019). Comparative Analysis of Organic Food Markets in the Republic of Serbia and the Neighbouring Countries. Contemporary Agriculture, 68(1-2), 34-42.

Wägeli, S., & Hamm, U. (2016). Consumers’ perception and expectations of local organic food supply chains. Organic Agriculture, 6(3), 215-224.

Yan, B., & Ke, C. (2018). Two strategies for dynamic perishable product pricing to consider in strategic consumer behaviour. International Journal of Production Research, 56(5), 1757-1772.

Zahria, I., & Vanany, I. (2021). Organic Food in Supply Chain: Literature Review, Proceedings of the Second Asia Pacific International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Surakarta, Indonesia, September 14-16.

Żakowska-Biemans, S. (2011). Polish consumer food choices and beliefs about organic food. British Food Journal, 113(1), 122-137.

Żakowska-Biemans, S. (2022). Raport o stanie rolnictwa ekologicznego Polska 2022. (in Polish).

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2024 Economics and Environment


Download data is not yet available.