Alternative food networks and local markets: determinants of consumers’ choices between conventional and farmers’ stands

Direct purchases are a widespread and important typology of the so-called Alternative Food Networks. Within this channel, farmers’ markets represent a popular and deeply investigated farmer-to-consumer market segment. While farmers’ markets are a quite recent initiatives, it is traditional to find in many towns in Italy both conventional stands and farmers’ stands selling fruit and vegetables in the same district market. We therefore analyse the behavioural characteristics of local market consumers choosing to purchase from farmers in order to point out the determinants of their choice. The consumers’ preferences were assessed through an in-person survey. Data were collected interviewing consumers in open-air markets in Torino, Cuneo, Alessandria and Asti, four cities in Piedmont Region (Italy) where farmers sell their products. The determinants of the choice to buy from farm stands were analysed with a probit model using a final sample of 1,138 respondents. Explanatory variables comprise the consumers’ general attitudes towards the purchase of food (importance given to convenience, price, quality and trust) and their personal characteristics. Also, other variables were added in order to highlight the possible role of markets and areas with distinctive characteristics. The most important factor affecting consumers’ choice for farm stand is the quest for quality. Consumers with a strong interest in quality are significantly more likely to buy from farmers. Among the personal characteristics, being the household member in charge of buying fruits and vegetables, and education, are the main determinants of the choice of farmers’ stands. On the contrary, the effects of variables such as income and job skill level are not clear enough,and seem to be open to different interpretations.


Issue Date:
2015-06
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/207289
Total Pages:
10
JEL Codes:
D4; Q13




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-28

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