Camille Aouinaït is from Switzerland.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the economicdriver in agricultural sector. They count for 99% of the total agricultural firms operating in Europe. Trade liberalization has proved to increase economic growth and alleviate poverty in poor and low-income countries. Therefore, the trend goes towards opening boundaries between countries. Nevertheless, pressures exist on SMEs to lower prices, broaden the diversity of products and increase environmental and governmental regulations.
Bilateral agreements on agricultural products were signed between Switzerland and the European Union in the end of the 20th century. Hence, farmers have to adopt strategies to face trade liberalization. The mapping of innovation sources will help to understand the economic trends. Focus on specific points will be perform as the innovation adoption (e.g. involvement in a regional trademark, patent development) and the relevant alliances at national and international levels such as collaborations engaged with universities.
The impacts of the policy implementation will be explored through the lenses of structural changes such as employment and technology evolution.
Empirical data are used to perform a qualitative analysis (e.g. surveys tofarmers, retailers, professional associations of the supply chain, federal institute of agriculture).
Quantitative method is also used with econometrics forinvestigate the causal effects of concern.
A set of Swiss agricultural firms is identified with a focus on fruit producers. Regional influence is highlighted thanks to nine trademarks spreadin several cantons. It will allow the comparison whether farmers are involved or not in marketing strategies.
The combination of quantitative and qualitative studies will shape the research to seek the determinant factors of farmers’ decisions towards specific strategies. The structural changes occurring after the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the European Union will help to understand the effect of a policy change.
Besides, the focus on international collaborations between public and private entities (e.g. universities and firms), the trademark impacts and the patenting evolution are useful to map the knowledge clusters.
Mira Alyakova is pursuing her PhD at the age of 29 years from UNWE and is a Sustainable Transitions Research Network Member. During her Doctoral degree she was in many workshops as a trainer for training in Transition Management, all in Europe, some in Dutch Research Institute for Future Transitions-“fathers” of Transition Management. She is a mentor of a one-year project of European Voluntary Service. She was part of the Bulgarian team of a research project funded by 7th Framework of EU-FarmPath-Pathways towards sustainable transitions in agriculture in Europe. Teaching “Development in rural areas” and Bulgarian language for foreigners.
Our society faces a lot of unstable situations like climate change, pollution, demographic, health, educational and economic crisis, wars at once. In the beginning of 21st century, a group of scientists describes these actual themes like problems of one unsustainable society and construct a new model of thinking for these emergent problems–Transition Theory (2000). Now, transition theory is applied in many different fields across Europe and the World, Dutch governance applying transition management since 2001. The authors (Frank Geels, Jan Rotmants, Derk Loorbach, Niki Frantzeskaki) describe transition like fundamental change of the social system in culture, structure and practice and the co-evolution of this three elements. Researchers said that for one transition is needed 25-50 years (one generation). Pretty good examples of such transition is “from carriage to automobile”, “from telegraph to smartphones “,” from intensive to bio farming;” from conventional electricity to green electricity”. Transition theory has three main perspectives–Multi level perspectives, Multi phase concept and Multi pattern concept. Second part of transition theory is Transition Management. This article should give a brief description of what Transition Thinking is and which methodology better suits it. For applying Transition theory for a base of a research, better approach is participatory active research, semi structured interviews, in-depth analysis of the stakeholders, focus groups and developing a scenario. At the end author will provide some examples of transitions towards sustainability in rural areas; case studies from Bulgaria (3 to 5 or 5 to 7 examples).