Proximity has a prominent role in SFSCs, both geographical and social. In the end, SFSCs are about the rebuilding of trustful relationships and common values.
The concept of value chain place emphasis on both the values embodied in the food products and the values associated with the business relationships that bind members of SFSCs.
The value added of the products delivered through SFSCs, is therefore enhanced by the nature of the relationships within SFCs, the particular values they adhere to, and the importance of these values to consumers.
Proper information allows the consumers to make value-judgements about the food, it’s origin and method of production, and as well as the values of the people involved, providing a link between identity, values and ethics of both producers and consumers.
As a consequence, building trustful and transparent commercial relationships between producers and consumers is a key point for SFSC and links SFSCs to the concept of organized proximity.
Social and organized proximity are key features of SFSCs: they not only enhance relations between producers and consumers, but also between institutions, as well as between producers themselves and within the whole agri-food system. Information, knowledge exchange and cooperation among actors involved in the food network are thereby the main enabling factors for the competitiveness and sustainability of SFSCs.
The SKIN approach aims to bring together actors and make them cross-fertilize their knowledge and approaches, promoting knowledge-based agriculture and innovation-driven research.