Consumer and Producer Information-Sharing Preferences at Arizona Farmers Markets

  • Keri Szejda Fehrenbach Arizona State University
  • Christopher M. Wharton Arizona State University
Keywords: Communication, Consumers, Farmers Markets, Health, Local Food, Nutrition, Producers, Sustainability

Abstract

Venues allowing consumers to purchase foods directly from producers, such as farmers markets, have grown rapidly in recent years. Direct-to-consumer marketing not only allows consumers to buy locally produced foods; it also facilitates interaction with producers through which consumers can learn more information about the foods they buy. Although information exchange is important in consumer purchasing decisions, little research has been conducted on information consumers and producers would like to share at farmers markets. This mixed-methods survey study (i.e., including quantitative and qualitative methods) explored interests of both consumers and producers regarding the types of information they would like to learn or share at farmers markets, as well as preferred methods by which they would like this information communicated. Quantitative results showed that consumers and producers were most interested in sharing information regarding pesticide use, flavor, freshness, food safety, animal welfare, nutrition, and environmental impacts; qualitative results indicated consumers were strongly interested in local sourcing, organic production, and animal care. Both groups were interested in sharing information via consumer-initiated conversations. Consumers noted purchasing needs and vendor relationships as drivers for choosing which producers to buy from. These findings could facilitate consumer-producer interactions at farmers markets as well as informed purchasing decisions by consumers.

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Author Biographies

Keri Szejda Fehrenbach, Arizona State University
M.A., Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University; P.O. Box 871205; Tempe, Arizona 85287-1205 USA; +1-808-221-7300.
Christopher M. Wharton, Arizona State University
Ph.D., School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University; 500 North Third Street; Phoenix, Arizona 85004 USA.
Published
2014-09-16
How to Cite
Fehrenbach, K. S., & Wharton, C. M. (2014). Consumer and Producer Information-Sharing Preferences at Arizona Farmers Markets. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 4(4), 109–127. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2014.044.014
Section
Open Call Papers