Farm Fresh Food Boxes
Relationships in Value Chain Partnerships
The Farm Fresh Food Box (F3B) project is a market innovation that aims to capitalize on successful characteristics of direct-to-consumer (DTC), values-based supply chains (VBSCs), and traditional supply chains with the goals of expanding producer sales and improving rural food access. In the F3B model, farmers sell boxes of fresh produce in rural retail outlets to bring food to customers with limited access to locally grown foods. We present pilot findings on indicators of relationship quality, communication of embedded value, and food environment, and compare these with extant research to assess whether F3B behaves like a DTC, VBSC, a traditional supply chain, or something else entirely. Unlike much of the previous value-chain research, this work places a unique emphasis on the importance of the farmer-retailer relationship. We merge existing knowledge of DTC strategies and barriers with those of VBSCs and traditional supply chains to understand better the process of expanding into new outlets and consumer populations. We find that while the F3B model reduces some resource constraints, it adds a layer of complexity that requires time and expertise to develop a quality relationship between producers and retailers. Additionally, it is apparent that the F3B model must be tailored to fit local contexts of farmers and retailers participating in F3B market innovations.
Copyright (c) 2020 Lauren Greco, Jane Kolodinsky, Marilyn Sitaker, Lisa Chase, David Conner, Hans Estrin, Diane Smith, Julia Van Soelen Kim
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