Part of the book: Organic Farming and Food Production
Most societal and environmental challenges that humanity is currently facing relate to unsustainable consumption patterns and lifestyles. This unsustainability is supported by consumerism and producerism that have high interests for fierce productivity. This study presents a supply-demand marketing perspective based on the current literature and current market realities. Local food production and consumption are topics gaining much attention in academic marketing research and marketing practice. Local food systems regenerate the relationships between producers and consumers. A mixed design is used to assess the added values of the production and distribution systems in Canada. On one hand the supply side situation was assessed by conducting personal in-depth interviews with alternative food producers and market intermediaries. On the other hand, a survey was administered to local food consumers to assess their consumption patterns. Findings show that producers/farmers have a number of positive outcomes. Intrinsic values such as taste, quality and freshness, nutrition and health, are very important to the consumer both for local food products in general and local organic foods products in particular. Further, it is determined that price is important but not determinant of local foods purchase. Further, consumers’ issues and concerns over conventional food products are determinant factors when purchasing local food products. It is also important to realize that consumers may not fully understand the meaning of locally produced food.
Part of the book: Food Production and Industry
Increased globalization of food systems, large-scale production and distribution, and retail sales have changed the way food is produced and consumed. The dis-embedded globalized system is characterized by “industrial food” and not well-informed food choices. This has also created many concerns with respect to food safety, food security, health, and sustainability. Food alternatives are developing leading to embedded localized systems. These “alternative food” options include labels such as local, natural, pesticide-free, ecologically friendly, slow food movement, and localvores. The traditional marketing approach and specifically consumer marketing theory are not sufficiently prepared to handle the advent of new types of consumers. These consumers are looking for more than a product, i.e., value products. The objective of the current study is to understand the motives and concerns, product preferences, and consumption patterns of alternative food consumers in both developed and developing countries. To this end, a survey was administered in two countries. The population targeted for this study is alternative food shoppers. Results show mitigated differences between developed country consumers and developing country consumers in terms of food culture and food importance, perception of organic versus local foods, and foods channels of distribution.
Part of the book: Organic Farming