Linking Southern Buyers' Attributes with Labeling Preferences for Local Fresh Produce

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2021: $128,373.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2023
Grant Recipients: University of Georgia; Georgia Organics; Athens Land Trust; Georgia Farmers Market Association ; Augusta Locally Grown
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Vanessa Shonkwiler
University of Georgia
Co-Investigators:
Dr. Julie Campbell
Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia
Dr. Cesar Escalante
University of Georgia
Description:
As a result of consecutive increases in demand for local produce realized since 2020, farmers have been investing more time and effort in retaining their buyers and eventually building loyalty. Our study seeks to understand consumers’ perceptions, understanding, and interpretation of information conveyed in several co-labeling strategies when purchasing fruits and vegetables. Our analysis particularly focuses on local farms’ direct marketing clientele. We conducted an online survey of 1,820 buyers in six Southern States and in-person interviews with over 30 buyers in Georgia, including final buyers and intermediaries such as aggregators. Major findings reveal distinct profiles of different buyers based on their use of the commodities and frequency of their purchases. These factors influence their expectations for co-labeling. Moreover, our results highlight a preference for products labeled as “locally grown” associated with “Certified Naturally Grown” over the combined “locally grown” and U.S.D.A. Organic labels.
Type:
Conference/Presentation Material
File:
Authors:
Vanessa SHONKWILER, UGA
Cesar ESCALANTE, UGA
Julie CAMPBELL, UGA
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Educators; Researchers; Consumers
Ordering info:
Cost: $0.00
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.