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Factors Affecting Current and Future CSA Participation

Department of Agricultural Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John P. A. Lamers
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 478;
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
PDF [638 KB, uploaded 23 March 2017]


Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one of the widely used direct marketing strategies for small- and midsized farmers. CSA programs are an important option for sustainable production and consumption. It helps growers generate income (improve financial security) and consumers obtain fresh local foods. Sustaining and growing CSA participation is critical in order to continue enjoying these benefits. We used a national online survey in conjunction with discrete choice models to investigate the impact of demographic characteristics, lifestyle preferences, and different information outlets on the probability that a consumer is or will become a CSA member. The results indicate that the factors affecting current and future CSA participation differ substantially. While none of the demographic characteristics has a significant impact on current CSA participation, some of them significantly affect the probability that a consumer will become a CSA member in the future. Lifestyle preferences have a significant impact on current and future CSA participation. Although none of the information outlets examined affect current CSA participation, word-of-mouth and online sources significantly influence the probability that a consumer will join a CSA program in the future. These findings may have important implications for policy makers’ and CSA farm managers’ efforts to sustain future CSA development. View Full-Text
Keywords: community-supported agriculture (CSA); direct marketing; local foods community-supported agriculture (CSA); direct marketing; local foods

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Vassalos, M.; Gao, Z.; Zhang, L. Factors Affecting Current and Future CSA Participation. Sustainability 2017, 9, 478.

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