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Developing viable farmers markets in rural communities: An investigation of vendor performance using objective and subjective valuations

  • Schmit, T.M.
  • Gómez, M.I.

Farmers markets are drawing increasing attention by consumers as a local source of fresh foods; by producers as an alternative marketing opportunity to improve farm sales; and by policy makers concerned about the limited availability of affordable, nutritious foods in low-income, sparsely-populated rural areas. Using unique data collected from customers, vendors, and markets in a rural region of New York State, we develop an empirical model of subjective and objective measures of vendor performance to identify important factors for improved market sustainability. The empirical results suggest four inter-related planning recommendations when considering market and public policy interventions: (1) establishing larger, centrally located markets with public sector contributions, (2) targeting variety in products and vendors, (3) prioritizing attention to marketing and promotion, and (4) reducing cost burdens to underserved, low-income residents. As rural areas are spatially unique, future research across a variety of rural communities and regions will be important to the further development of sound initiatives aimed at improving market performance and access to healthy foods.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 119-127

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:2:p:119-127
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  1. LeRoux, Matthew N. & Schmit, Todd M. & Roth, Monika & Streeter, Deborah H., 2009. "Evaluating Marketing Channel Options for Small-Scale Fruit and Vegetable Producers," Working Papers 49006, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  2. Dawn Thilmany & Craig A. Bond & Jennifer K. Bond, 2008. "Going Local: Exploring Consumer Behavior and Motivations for Direct Food Purchases," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1303-1309.
  3. Matthew Griffin & Edward Frongillo, 2003. "Experiences and perspectives of farmers from Upstate New York farmers' markets," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 189-203, June.
  4. Gandee, Jesse E. & Brown, Cheryl & D'Souza, Gerard E., 2003. "The Role Of Spatial And Demographic Characteristics In Direct Farm Marketing: An Econometric Approach," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 21912, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Morgan, Tamekia K. & Alipoe, Dovi, 2001. "Factors Affecting The Number And Type Of Small-Farm Direct Marketing Outlets In Mississippi," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 32(01), March.
  6. Govindasamy, Ramu & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 1997. "Determinants Of Farmer-To-Consumer Direct Market Visits By Type Of Facility: A Logit Analysis," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 26(1), April.
  7. Cheryl Brown & Stacy Miller, 2008. "The Impacts of Local Markets: A Review of Research on Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1298-1302.
  8. Monson, Joseph & Mainville, Denise Y. & Kuminoff, Nicolai V., 2008. "The Decision to Direct Market: An Analysis of Small Fruit and Specialty-Product Markets in Virginia," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 39(2), July.
  9. Schatzer, Raymond Joe & Tilley, Daniel S. & Moesel, Douglas, 1989. "Consumer Expenditures At Direct Produce Markets," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 21(01), July.
  10. Wier, Mette & O'Doherty Jensen, Katherine & Andersen, Laura Mørch & Millock, Katrin, 2008. "The character of demand in mature organic food markets: Great Britain and Denmark compared," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 406-421, October.
  11. Hughes, David W. & Brown, Cheryl & Miller, Stacy & McConnell, Tom, 2008. "Evaluating the Economic Impact of Farmers’ Markets Using an Opportunity Cost Framework," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 40(01), April.
  12. Biermacher, Jon T. & Upson, Steve & Miller, David C. & Pittman, Dusty, 2007. "Economic Challenges of Small-Scale Vegetable Production and Retailing in Rural Communities: An Example from Rural Oklahoma," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 38(3), November.
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