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Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets: Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors

Author

Listed:
  • David Conner

    () (C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, 131 Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA)

  • Kathryn Colasanti

    () (C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, 131 Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA)

  • R. Brent Ross

    () (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 202 Agriculture Hall, East Lansing MI 48824, USA)

  • Susan B. Smalley

    () (C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, 131 Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA)

Abstract

Farm viability poses a grave challenge to the sustainability of agriculture and food systems: the number of acres in production continues to decline as the majority of farms earn negative net income. Two related and often overlapping marketing strategies, (i) locally grown foods and (ii) distribution at farmers markets, can directly enhance food system sustainability by improving farm profitability and long-term viability, as well as contributing to an array of ancillary benefits. We present results of a representative Michigan telephone survey, which measured consumers’ perceptions and behaviors around local foods and farmers markets. We discuss the implications of our findings on greater farm profitability. We conclude with suggestions for future research to enhance the contributions of locally grown foods and farmers markets to overall food system sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • David Conner & Kathryn Colasanti & R. Brent Ross & Susan B. Smalley, 2010. "Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets: Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-15, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:742-756:d:7429
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Keeling Bond, Jennifer J. & Thilmany, Dawn D. & Bond, Craig A., 2006. "Direct Marketing of Fresh Produce: Understanding Consumer Purchasing Decisions," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 21(4), pages 1-9.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Michigan; Probit analysis; marketing strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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