Self-service farmers` shops – Professional.Digital

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain

Disaggregation level
Direct marketing
Local amenities

Project region
Lower Austria
Upper Austria

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period

Project costs overall
ca. 80.000 € (Abrechnung noch offen)

Subsidy from LE 14-20
ca. 80.000 € (Abrechnung noch offen)

EN - 16.10.1. Einrichtung und Betrieb von Clustern

Project initiator
LK Kärnten, LK NÖ, Netzwerk Kulinarik

Short description

Self-service shops have become a popular form of direct marketing for farmers. Through the project "Self-service farmers` shops – Professional.Digital.", the Carinthian and Lower Austrian chambers of agriculture, supported by the food network “Netzwerk Kulinarik” have developed five tools for the professionalization and further development of farmers' self-service shops.

Point of departure

Self-service shops are trendy and more and more customers value this way of sourcing food. Many farmers have therefore started direct marketing by means of self-service shops, either by themselves or in cooperation with others. In a second step relevant marketing practices shall be professionalized.

Targets and target groups

The project addresses several target groups of farmers and provides elaborated supporting documents to

- newcomers interested in the establishment of self-service shops

- experienced farmers who would like to expand their distribution channels to include a self-service shop, and

- farmers who currently operate a self-service shop and would like to professionalize their marketing.

Project implementation and measures

Based on on-site surveys, an analysis of strengths and weaknesses has been carried out. Furthermore, expert knowledge has been gathered and the following documents and checklists for the professionalization of self-service stores have been compiled:

·       a decision tree on whether to start a self-service shop as a mean of direct marketing for farmers

·       checklist for the professionalization of self-service shops

·       must-haves & nice-to-haves for self-service shops from the customer's point of view

·       information brochure on the digitization of a self-service shop

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to self-service farmers` shops

Results and effects

The practical suitability of the materials is to be examined as part of a master's thesis. The results should be available by the end of 2022.


At the beginning of the project, a number of working hypotheses were formulated on the question of how existing self-service shops could be most appropriately professionalized. Based on the results of the actual state analysis, all these hypotheses had to be abandoned and new approaches to solutions had to be identified.

The most important finding concerning the implementation of projects dealing with extremely complex issues is that even one's own hypotheses have to be repeatedly and critically evaluated for their fitness for purpose. A careful and in-depth analysis of the initial situation is indispensable.

Note: The materials developed throughout the project are available for download i.a. on this page as well as on the website of the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture.