A Conceptual Framework for Agri-Food Tourism as an Eco-Innovation Strategy in Small Farms
The proposed conceptual framework explores how small-scale farms can combine agricultural products and tourism into an eco-innovation strategy. This paper presents a case study conducted on a family-run farm within the territory of the Paiwan tribal community of the North Dawu Mountain situated in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. The area has become an important coffee-farming region since the Japanese colonial period between 1895 and 1945. For many years, most of the indigenous farmers of
... digenous farmers of the area have cultivated varieties of coffee plants using traditional, non-commercial methods, such as a single-sale channel. The small-scale farmer implements an integrated approach that systematically optimizes supply chain relationships to improve both the upstream and downstream sides of agri-food tourism services. The upstream element of agri-food tourism, for example, can be adjusted to employ organic or "natural" farming methods that allow small-scale farmers to secure an "organic" certification. Based on this approach, a small farm is gradually transformed into a type of educational institution that can demonstrate to customers the methods for farming high-quality organic coffee while also attracting tourists of various backgrounds to experience the downstream components of agri-food tourism in a recreational setting. This case study highlights how a particular small-scale farmer plays an important role in attracting other tribal farmers to engage in sustainable practices that help preserve cultural, social, and environmental systems while also presenting agri-food tourism as a brand identity.