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Factors Affecting Current and Future CSA Participation

Author

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  • Michael Vassalos

    () (Department of Agricultural Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA)

  • Zhifeng Gao

    () (Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA)

  • Lisha Zhang

    () (Department of Agricultural Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA)

Abstract

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one of the widely used direct marketing strategies for small- and midsized farmers. CSA programs are an important option for sustainable production and consumption. It helps growers generate income (improve financial security) and consumers obtain fresh local foods. Sustaining and growing CSA participation is critical in order to continue enjoying these benefits. We used a national online survey in conjunction with discrete choice models to investigate the impact of demographic characteristics, lifestyle preferences, and different information outlets on the probability that a consumer is or will become a CSA member. The results indicate that the factors affecting current and future CSA participation differ substantially. While none of the demographic characteristics has a significant impact on current CSA participation, some of them significantly affect the probability that a consumer will become a CSA member in the future. Lifestyle preferences have a significant impact on current and future CSA participation. Although none of the information outlets examined affect current CSA participation, word-of-mouth and online sources significantly influence the probability that a consumer will join a CSA program in the future. These findings may have important implications for policy makers’ and CSA farm managers’ efforts to sustain future CSA development.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Vassalos & Zhifeng Gao & Lisha Zhang, 2017. "Factors Affecting Current and Future CSA Participation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-16, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:478-:d:93722
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:7:p:2177-:d:154462 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1543-:d:110258 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2911-:d:164132 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    community-supported agriculture (CSA); direct marketing; local foods;

    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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