Evaluating local food programs: The case of Select Nova Scotia
This study evaluated the effectiveness of the buy local food program Select Nova Scotia; a government program with the goal to increase awareness and consumption of Nova Scotia produced and processed agri-food products by Nova Scotians and visitors. The evaluation methodology was based on prior evaluation resources and local food consumer research. Data were gathered through a web panel survey; 877 respondents completed the survey in June 2010. The results suggest that the program is reaching a wider audience than just those predisposed to local food initiatives. In addition, awareness of Select Nova was related to perceptions of local benefits and barriers, as well as purchase motivation and behavior. Respondents who were aware of Select Nova Scotia rated societal benefits as more important and viewed location and price as less of a barrier; they were also more likely to be highly motivated to purchase local foods. This study also informs results found in previous consumer research studies and identifies marketing opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of local food programs. The results suggest that societal benefits might be used as a way to differentiate products with similar attributes.
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