Due to the covid-19 health crisis, in Flanders (Belgium) more people are buying directly from farmers. The reason for this is that consumers are more invested in supporting local economies. An increasing interest of consumers in sustainability and the need for a connection with the origin of our food, also contributes to the increased  importance of short food supply chains. 

The increased demand for farm products resulted in an increased supply by farmers. Farmers who want to start a shop to sell their products, can ask for investment support from “Vlaams Landbouw- en Investeringsfonds (VLIF)”. Every year an increase in applications for this support can be observed but the increase in 2020 was substantial. In 2018 and 2019 respectively 75 and 83 applications were submitted. While for the first three quarters of 2020 the amount of applications was already 121. 

The same trend is observed by “Steunpunt Korte Keten”, where farmers can ask for advice with regard to short food supply chains. During the year 2020 the organization received almost 950 requests, while they only received 630 requests in 2019. 

The increase in farm shops was the highest in the meat sector. From July 2019 until June 2020 there was an increase of 55% in the sales of fresh meat at the farm, compared to the same period during the previous year. 

The reason for farmers to start a short food supply chain is no longer only for financial benefits. Expanding farm activities is now a farming objective. Farmers want to diversify their business and grow. Short food supply chains are a way to do so. Farmers are very optimistic about the future of short food supply chains, even after the COVID-19 crisis. 

Sources and more information at

Vilt. (2020). Aantal hoevewinkels boomt sinds start coronacrisis.   Retrieved from h

Vilt. (2021a). Hoeveslagerijen profiteren sterk van coronapandemie.   Retrieved from h

Vilt. (2021b). Wat met de korte keten na de coronacrisis?   Retrieved from https://vilt.be/nl/nieuws/wat-met-de-korte-keten-na-de-coronacrisis