Potential of organic farming at the Southern Watershed of Lake Balaton
Keywords:Local people and tourists, organic foods, consumer behavior, marketing strategy
Previous studies have shown that organic farming is a widely accepted and acknowledged method. The way of farming plays an important role nearby our fresh waters, since – besides influencing the environmental conditions – it affects the local people’s and the visitors’ judgment, and plays a role in preventing the development of societal conflicts. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential in organic farming at the Southern Watershed of Lake Balaton. Our hypothesis was that the production of organic food in the studied area could contribute to an increase in the employment, the region’s attractiveness (measured in the number of guest nights), as well as in the earnings spent in the region (reproduction). Secondary and primary information collection was performed. A questionnaire-based study was conducted by interviewing the management of local organic and conventional farms (deep interview), as well as local people and the tourists. Results show that consumers considered purchasing organic food as a possibility, however it was accomplished only to a limited extent. According to the management of organic and conventional farms, there is a lack of effective strategy. Critical points were the well-organized local sales activities and communication, which should be improved. Results also revealed that there was no difference in human capital supply, but the environmental conditions were more favorable compared to other regions in the country. Taking advantage of that should be also part of the region’s strategy.