Is a Geographical Certification a Promising Production and Commercialization Strategy for Smallholder Sheep Farming in Ceará, Brazil?
AbstractProducing a local sheep meat product under a geographical certification label may enhance market competitiveness of smallholder farmers. This study focused on sheep farms in Ceará (Northeast Brazil); we explored their potential for adopting such a strategy, described the production chain of the salted, dried sheep meat product, and evaluated its potential certification. The study built on an existing unpublished dataset about the socio-economic conditions, production techniques, and commercialization characteristics of 129 sheep producers in the Tauá municipality. Multiple correspondence analysis followed by a nonhierarchical cluster analysis resulted in five farm clusters. In-depth interviews about socio-economic and production characteristics were conducted with a subsample of 23 farmers. The production chain was evaluated by applying methodological and data triangulation. The dried mutton product showed potential for geographical certification. However, essential preconditions for establishing a successful and sustainable geographic certification system were currently lacking.
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