Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde

Development of sustainable self-management concepts for groups to optimise regional value creation
(Entwicklung nachhaltiger Selbstmanagementkonzepte für Gruppen zur Optimierung regionaler Wertschöpfung - GrOW)

Timeframe 1.10.2018 – 31.3.2021


The demand for organic food in Germany has been growing steadily for many years. However, even though consumers give high priority to regional products and local production in Germany when buying organic food, organically farmed land and farms have not increased at the same pace throughout Germany. The federal states in north-eastern Germany, in particular Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, are clearly lagging behind. In these states, there are still structural differences in land use, some due to historical reasons. The need to establish and develop regional value creation networks, especially in north-eastern Germany, is clearly evident.

Project goal

The primary goal of this project is to promote rural development in north-eastern Germany by establishing and expanding regional agricultural value networks.

In value creation networks, different actors work together and coordinate the flow of their goods and required information. The project aims to capture and analyse cooperation (cooperation from the perspective of the individual stakeholders) as well as coordination (how processes are coordinated).
Therefore, we are pursuing two overarching goals:

  1. Identifying cooperation and coordination structures of successfully self-organised actors and networks, taking into account their specific context and the resulting constraints and potentials.
  2. Identifying generally valid approaches and methodological concepts to support the development and strengthening of regional agricultural value networks, based on formal and informal dialogue between stakeholders in the value chain.

To achieve these goals, we use a qualitative, exploratory action research design that we combine with a social network analysis. In concrete terms, the project is helping two producer/processor groups to establish and develop their value creation networks. Best practice examples are also evaluated to answer specific questions raised by the groups and the expertise of key actors is analysed and integrated. The project findings will be made available as tools to help interested stakeholders optimise their value chains.

Contacts at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development

Katja Searles, +49 3334 657 451,Katja.Searle@hnee.de 

Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Häring, +49 3334 657 348, Anna.Haering@hnee.de

Project partners

Bioland Beratung GmbH

Dieses Vorhaben wird gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft aufgrund eines Beschlusses des Deutschen Bundestages im Rahmen des Bundesprogramms Ökologischer Landbau und anderer Formen nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft.