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Abstract

This study is an attempt to assess the impact of small farms (SF) on the regional food product circulation of specific key products in selected, fragmented, agrarian regions in Poland and Portugal. The empirical study is based on the analysis of food product maps which were developed based on data from a survey conducted among owners of small farms and small food businesses at focus group meetings and workshops organized in 2017 and 2018 in the Nowotarski and Nowosądecki subregions in Poland and in the Alentejo Central and Oeste subregions in Portugal. Qualitative data analysis was conducted using uniform methodology. In each of the subregions, focus groups helped to confront the assumptions resulting from surveys and corroborate the flows and fluxes described in the developed food product maps. Data collected during focus groups were enriched by data gathered during regional workshops that focused on food system governance. It was concluded that food product maps indicate interesting relationship flows of small farmers’ products along the food system, highlighting the role of fluxes connecting small farmers with other actors regarding specific key products. Several similarities and disparities between regional KP production flows in the Portuguese and Polish subregions, based on the type of key product, the various distribution channels and farming capacities present in each subregion were observed.

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