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Abstract

Increasing consumer preferences for locally produced foods, exhibited by the nationwide expansion of farmers markets, is likely to affect food-service establishments. This study used a mail and telephone survey to evaluate chefs’ preferences and attitudes towards purchasing locally produced foods for their restaurants. Results show that chefs are most concerned with food quality, taste, and freshness. Chefs of small gourmet, independently owned restaurants are more likely to purchase local foods. Gourmet chefs are more concerned with food-production practices and thus see the value of purchasing local foods. Lack of information was found to be the largest hurdle to purchasing local products, clearly demonstrating the need for additional information and product samples from local producers.

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