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Consumers’ Buying Groups in the Short Food Chains: Alternatives for Trust


  • Carbone, Anna
  • Gaito, Marco
  • Senni, Saverio


Food markets in affluent countries tend to be characterized by increasing complexity under several regards such as the organization of the productive chains, the process that leads to the formation of consumer’s preferences, the information/communication task and the building of trust among stakeholders. In particular, consumers are increasingly concerned about many credence attributes such as food safety, environmental concerns, the fairness of trade conditions, product origin and so forth. The paper focus on short chains and consumers’ buying groups (CBGs) seen as strategies to overcome the emerging difficulties that consumers face in collecting and processing information on credence attributes. The results of a field survey, based on e-mail interviews to Italian CBGs’ members are presented. The survey had the aim to explore personal motivations to join a CBG, the groups’ main objectives and organization and, eventually, the degree of satisfaction with this organization of the food shopping. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 analyses the sources of consumer’s substantial distrust on many of the products available on food markets and underlines that the most common remedies to market failures due to asymmetric information, undertaken both by producers and policy makers, are far to be fully effective. Section 3 is devoted to short chains, directly connecting producers to consumers, and CBGs, i.e. families that organize their shopping on a collective basis to better pursue their ethical goals and to gain organizational advantages. Both weakness and strength points of short chains and of CBGs are briefly discussed from the consumers’ as well as from the producers’ point of view. The results of the interviews are analysed in the fourth section while some concluding remarks are contained in the last section.

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  • Carbone, Anna & Gaito, Marco & Senni, Saverio, 2007. "Consumers’ Buying Groups in the Short Food Chains: Alternatives for Trust," 2007 1st Forum, February 15-17, 2007, Innsbruck, Austria 6594, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi07:6594

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. I. Vermeir & W. Verbeke, 2004. "Sustainable Food Consumption: Exploring The Consumer Attitude – Behaviour Gap," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/268, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Carbone, Anna & Gaito, Marco & Senni, Saverio, 2006. "Consumers' attitudes toward ethical food: Evidence from social farming in Italy," 98th Seminar, June 29-July 2, 2006, Chania, Crete, Greece 10029, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Hennessy, David A. & Roosen, Jutta & Jensen, Helen H., 2003. "Systemic failure in the provision of safe food," Food Policy, Elsevier, pages 77-96.
    4. Wim Verbeke, 2005. "Agriculture and the food industry in the information age," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 347-368, September.
    5. Henrik Vetter & Kostas Karantininis, 2002. "Moral hazard, vertical integration, and public monitoring in credence goods," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 271-279, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Maria Di Trapani & Filippo Sgroi & Riccardo Testa, 2013. "La filiera corta: una possibile strategia per migliorare la competitività dell’azienda agraria," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 15(2), pages 35-49.
    2. Sara Fabbrizzi & Silvio Menghini & Nicola Marinelli, 2014. "The Short Food Supply Chain: A Concrete Example of Sustainability. A Literature Review," RIVISTA DI STUDI SULLA SOSTENIBILITA', FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 189-206.
    3. Finco, A. & Sargentoni, T. & Tramontano, A. & Bentivoglio, Deborah & Rasetti, M., 2013. "Economic Sustainability of Short Food Supply Chain in the Italian Olive Oil Sector: A Viable Alternative for Tunisian Agrofood Market?," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 160681, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    4. Belletti, Matteo & Orazi, Francesco & Socci, Marco & Giovagnoli, Marco & Pojaghi, Barbara, 2012. "Solidarity Economies in Marche, Italy: current trends and perspectives," Congress Papers 124127, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    5. Wellner, Marie & Theuvsen, Ludwig, 2016. "Community Supported Agriculture Als Neuer Impuls Für Die Regionalvermarktung? Stand Der Forschung Und Abgrenzung Von Anderen Alternativen Lebensmittelnetzwerken," 56th Annual Conference, Bonn, Germany, September 28-30, 2016 244757, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    6. Sgroi, Filippo & Di Trapani, Anna Maria & Testa, Riccardo, 2012. "La Filiera Corta: Una Possibile Strategia Per Migliorare La Competitività Dell’Azienda Agraria," 2012 XX Convegno Annuale SIEA, Siracusa 130450, Italian Society of Agri-food Economics/Società Italiana di Economia Agro-Alimentare (SIEA).


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