Innovations in Organic Agriculture for Assuring Food Quality and Safety and Healthy Living Environment
Р 33 РОЛЬ ЭКОНОМИЧЕСКИХ НАУК В РАЗВИТИИ ОБЩЕСТВА сборник статей Международной научно-практической конференции (1 ноября 2014 г., г. Уфа). - Уфа: Аэтерна, 2014. – 124 с. ISBN 978-5-906769-28-2
16 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2017
Date Written: November 1, 2014
Challenges before humanity in XXI century connected to climatic changes, insufficiency of resources, pollution of environment, dynamics in international business and uncertainty in economic and political sphere lead to a number of questions regarding sustainable development not only in the sense of "protecting nature for future generations" but also of development of steady in economic, ecological and social relation productions and first of all in internationally oriented knowledge-based economies - a difficult task which in fact includes different elements as: institutional environment for entrepreneurship encouragement, human resources, material and information structure, uniting link in which is the establishment of innovation systems on regional and national levels. In new realities "innovation" is a key word in which very often different matter is given. The definition given by the Ministry of economy and energy of the Republic if Bulgaria accepts that the innovation could have various manifestations - product, process, marketing and organization. Furthermore, explaining the minimal indication of an innovation in that document it is stated that "product, production process, marketing method or organization" could be a new one (or significantly improved) for the practice of an enterprise. That means that the innovation is not only a product, production process or method which an organization has created first but also those that it has borrowed. The project of the Innovation strategy for intelligent (smart) specialization in the Republic of Bulgaria 2014-2020 from 09.09.2014, published on the web-site of the Ministry of economy and energy, in the adopted definition of innovation gives the accent on the fact that innovations create market advantages and raise competitiveness of organizations (enterprises). The strategic goal of that document is till 2020 the country to pass from the group of "modest innovators" to the group of "moderate innovators". Being in accordance to the Strategy of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth Europe 2020, the approval and the execution of the national innovation strategy of smart specialization would put in the agenda the solution of the problems of sectoral specialization and sustainable economic development. The underlined in its vision "managing social challenges in the fields of demography, sustainable development, intellectual capital and health of the nation" turns into expression through two operational goals embracing innovations in priority thematic fields and innovations for effectiveness of resources and information and communication technology (ICT). In that sense, in their essence as main economic sectors, agriculture and food industry will continue being in the focus of a great number of strategic and program documents in the new period 2014-2020 which is based on the traditional national competitive advantages and image. The historical development of agricultural sector and the market pressure to provide produce in sufficient quantities at reasonable and acceptable prices lead to the mass application of unsustainable production methods and a as results today many debates are being conducted about ecological and social impacts of agriculture. The trends are that the population on the planet will continue growing in next years, and mostly in urban areas, which means that the food demand will increase too. The establishment of a qualitatively new relation between two opposite parties – urban and rural, is inevitable which will be mutually beneficial, will care of environment and will improve the well-being of both. That way the urbanization provides many opportunities for development of sustainable agriculture which is on the basis of sustainable development of rural regions. The adoption of the measures "From Farm to Fork" in the European union is in fact a new integrated approach towards food safety for assuring its high levels, health and welfare of animals and plants that includes adequate monitoring and providing the effective functioning of the inner market. In those processes the striving after overcoming "the great misunderstanding" between producers and consumers finds it expression: producers aim at decrease in production expenditures (very often with refusal of good and sustainable practices) in order to answer the expectations of consumers for affordable prices. But contemporary consumer more often starts to be interested in what he/she gets as a final product in the store, where, from whom and in what way the product has been produced and how it has reached to him/her. Although the search of added value in final products is characteristic for developed economies, the realization of the interconnection in the whole production chain and with environment and human health lead to the consolidation of common standards in the protection of environment and consumers’ health which organic production completely answers to, and resulting in huge increase in demand of eco- and organic products worldwide. The positive trends in the growth of organic production are noticed in Bulgaria too as it is shown in the information provided by the Ministry of agriculture and food for the development of the organic agriculture in Bulgaria. Although the revealed positive data, the availability of the corresponding legislation and the institutional support, the question of the marketing of organic produce stays as one of the most topical: the trends more that 95% of certified organic produce in the country to be exported, and mostly as raw materials (primary, non-processed produce) are kept and to Bulgarian consumer final import products are offered which (along with the low level of information, the lack of clear identification of organic products and easy confusion with so-called ecological products) inevitably leads to unaffordable prices and low market shares of organic produce as a whole. Based on that, it could be concluded that for organic production development in the country first of all "market innovations" are needed, not only expressed in changes in design and packaging of products, their positioning, promotion and price-making, but also assuming new market approaches and connections to consumers. Current paper examines the introduction of Community-supported agriculture (CSA) as a variety of Alternative food networks (AFNs) and as an innovation which would provide the necessary financing for organic farms/ enterprises, as well as giving opportunities for diversification of activities.
Keywords: Innovations in Organic Agriculture, Food Quality, Healthy Living Environment
JEL Classification: P59
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation