Abstract

The increased utilization of local direct markets has been dramatic in the last decade, but consumer motivations for buying local are not well understood. This study uses survey data collected at farmers' markets to compare consumer willingness to pay (WTP) premiums for organic and locally grown produce. Results illustrate a clear division in consumer motivations for purchasing through local direct markets. Demographics such as age and education level, concerns regarding food safety, environmental issues, and product origin, as well as the importance of supporting local growers and production methods differentiate consumers. Study results support the continued need for third-party labeling and certification programs.

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