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Sustainability 2010, 2(3), 742-756;

Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets: Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors

C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, 131 Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 202 Agriculture Hall, East Lansing MI 48824, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 February 2010 / Revised: 4 March 2010 / Accepted: 10 March 2010 / Published: 12 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
PDF [301 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


Farm viability poses a grave challenge to the sustainability of agriculture and food systems: the number of acres in production continues to decline as the majority of farms earn negative net income. Two related and often overlapping marketing strategies, (i) locally grown foods and (ii) distribution at farmers markets, can directly enhance food system sustainability by improving farm profitability and long-term viability, as well as contributing to an array of ancillary benefits. We present results of a representative Michigan telephone survey, which measured consumers’ perceptions and behaviors around local foods and farmers markets. We discuss the implications of our findings on greater farm profitability. We conclude with suggestions for future research to enhance the contributions of locally grown foods and farmers markets to overall food system sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: Michigan; Probit analysis; marketing strategies Michigan; Probit analysis; marketing strategies

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Conner, D.; Colasanti, K.; Ross, R.B.; Smalley, S.B. Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets: Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors. Sustainability 2010, 2, 742-756.

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