Áron Török and Zalán Maró Win OTKA Funding for Research Project on Farmers’ MarketsÁron Török, associate professor of the Institute for the Development of Enterprises and PhD student Zalán Maró have won a grant under the call OTKA" young researcher excellence programme (FK_21) initiated by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office. Their research concentrates on “the economics of farmers' markets - economic, environmental, and social sustainability”.
Farmers’ markets have been an integral part of food procurement in Hungary for centuries where producers and final consumers are in direct contact with each other. Around the turn of the millennium, there was a growing demand in many parts of the world to reduce the distance between producers and consumers, both in space, time, and social terms, as a kind of alternative to the food industry, which is changing to mass production over time. Many new, innovative forms of this concept (e.g. box schemes, shopping communities, etc.) have appeared mostly in Western Europe and the United States, but in Hungary, farmers’ markets still dominate the scene.
The research seeks to find an answer to the reason for the existence of this traditional sales channel in the changed circumstances of the 21st century. We are looking at the issue from the perspective of both producers and consumers. To what extent are the prices observed in farmers’ markets acceptable to customers and producers? What is the environmental load of selling in farmers’ markets compared to the dominant other retail sales (e.g. supermarkets, food discounters)? How important is the direct relationship between producers and consumers and what does it matter? To what extent does the purchase of food in farmers’ markets contribute to the development of the local economy and local employment? Based on a scientific examination of such and similar questions, the research aims to find the answers.
The 48–month–long project is to start by the beginning of November 2021 with a budget of 10.84 M HUF. The research will be led by Áron Török (Associate Professor, Head of Department, Department of Agribusiness, Institute for the Development of Enterprises), in cooperation with Zalán Maró (PhD Student, Department of Agribusiness, Institute for the Development of Enterprises) and a BSc student (to be selected later).
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