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Thinking locally, acting locally? Conscious consumers and farmers markets

McEachern, Morven; Warnaby, Gary; Carrigan, Marylyn and Szmigin, Isabelle (2010). Thinking locally, acting locally? Conscious consumers and farmers markets. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(5&6) pp. 395–412.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02672570903512494
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Abstract

The emergence of a more reflexive and discerning customer has created inter alia a demand for ‘better’ food (i.e. quality and ‘authenticity’) in terms of sourcing, processing, and specialist distribution/retailing. As a consequence, the food production/distribution industry is under pressure to change many of its practices. One manifestation is the emergence of farmers’ markets and the associated emphasis on ‘local’ food. This paper aims to identify the extent to which ‘conscious’ consumers are committed to buying local foodstuffs and supporting local food producers, especially from farmers’ markets. Given the exploratory nature of this research, a qualitative approach was undertaken using in-depth interviews with ‘conscious’ consumers. The results reveal that ‘conscious’ consumers recognise their own limitations (i.e. time, convenience, and price) but also demonstrate that integrating ethical considerations into their consumption behaviour is a complex and flexible task. A number of strategic actions for farmers’ markets are proposed to help differentiate their provision, particularly in terms of capitalising on perceptions of authenticity and locality.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 Westburn Publishers Ltd.
ISSN: 0267-257X
Keywords: farmers’ markets; conscious consumers; local; flexibility of consumption; ethics
Academic Unit/Department: Open University Business School
Item ID: 21203
Depositing User: Marylyn Carrigan
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2010 09:55
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 14:29
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/21203
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