Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-bmjgf Total loading time: 0.317 Render date: 2022-12-09T17:25:05.589Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Rural consumer response to a food distribution innovation that connects farmers, retailers, and buyers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2021

Zoe van Vlaanderen*
Affiliation:
Center for Rural Studies, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA
Marilyn Sitaker
Affiliation:
Ecological Agriculture and Food Systems, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, USA
Weiwei Wang
Affiliation:
Center for Rural Studies, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA
Jane Kolodinsky
Affiliation:
Center for Rural Studies, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA
*
Author for correspondence: Zoe van Vlaanderen, E-mail: zvanvlaa@uvm.edu

Abstract

The Farm Fresh Food Box (F3B) strategy is a hybrid of direct-to-consumer (DTC) and short value chain models that aims to stimulate rural economies, creates an additional sales avenue for small farmers, provides rural grocery stores with increased foot traffic and overcomes barriers for rural consumers who are unable to access local food. The F3B project is a tri-state collaboration of extension and research partners from three states; two on the West Coast and one in the Northeast United States, involving small farmers and retailers from rural communities. This article analyzes F3B consumer surveys from 2 years of project implementation and contributes to the limited body of research on food box models by identifying benefits and barriers of the F3B strategy for consumers, comparing these findings to existing research on food box programs and other DTC market channels, and discussing implications for future model adjustment. Overall, consumers were pleased with all aspects of the F3B. However, the strategy had limited success with reaching a new demographic of local food consumers.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Allen, JE, Rossi, J, Woods, TA and Davis, AF (2017) Do community supported agriculture programmes encourage change to food lifestyle behaviours and health outcomes? New evidence from shareholders. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 15, 7082. doi: 10.1080/14735903.2016.1177866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Andress, L and Fitch, C (2016) Juggling the five dimensions of food access: perceptions of rural low income residents. Appetite 105, 151155. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.05.013.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Andreyeva, T, Middleton, AE, Long, MW, Luedicke, J and Schwartz, MB (2010) Food retailer practices, attitudes and beliefs about the supply of healthy foods. Public Health Nutrition 14, 10241031. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011000061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, JM (2010) Rural grocery stores: Importance and challenges. In Center for Rural Affairs Rural Research and Analysis Program (Issue 10).Google Scholar
Blanchard, T and Lyson, T (2006) Food availability and food deserts in the nonmetropolitan south (Issue 12). https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412973816.n60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Block, DR, Thompson, M, Euken, J, Liquori, T, Fear, F and Baldwin, S (2008) Engagement for transformation: value webs for local food system development. Agriculture and Human Values 25, 379388. doi: 10.1007/s10460-008-9113-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Church, AH (1993) Estimating the effect of incentives on mail survey response rates: a meta-analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly 57, 6279. doi: 10.1086/269355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, JN, Gearhart, S and Garland, E (2012) Community supported agriculture: a commitment to a healthier diet. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 7, 2037. doi: 10.1080/19320248.2012.651393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cox, R, Holloway, L, Venn, L, Dowler, L, Hein, JR, Kneafsey, M and Tuomainen, H (2008) Common ground? Motivations for participation in a community-supported agriculture scheme. Local Environment 13, 203218. doi: 10.1080/13549830701669153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Donahue, M (2018) The Impact of Dollar Stores and How Communities Can Fight Back. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Institute for Local Self-Reliance.Google Scholar
Forssell, S and Lankoski, L (2017) Navigating the tensions and agreements in alternative food and sustainability: a convention theoretical perspective on alternative food retail. Agriculture and Human Values 34, 513527. doi: 10.1007/s10460-016-9741-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fox, RJ, Crask, MR and Kim, J (1988) Mail survey response rate: a meta-analysis of selected techniques for inducing response. Public Opinion Quarterly 52, 467491. doi: 10.1086/269125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Galt, RE, Bradley, K, Christensen, LO and Munden-Dixon, K (2019) The (un)making of ‘CSA people’: member retention and the customization paradox in community supported agriculture (CSA) in California. Journal of Rural Studies 65, 172185. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2018.10.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Greco, L (2020) Farm Fresh Food Boxes: Relationships in Value-Chain Partnerships. Burlington, VT, USA: The University of Vermont.Google Scholar
Groh, T and McFadden, S (1997) No title. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association.Google Scholar
Hanson, KL, Garner, J, Connor, LM, Jilcott Pitts, SB, McGuirt, J, Harris, R, Kolodinsky, J, Wang, W, Sitaker, M, Ammerman, A and Seguin, RA (2019) Fruit and vegetable preferences and practices may hinder participation in community-supported agriculture among low-income rural families. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 51, 5767.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hardesty, S, Feenstra, G, Visher, D, Lerman, T, Thilmany-McFadden, D, Bauman, A, Gillpatrick, T and Rainbolt, GN (2014) Values-based supply chains: supporting regional food and farms. Economic Development Quarterly 28, 1727. doi: 10.1177/0891242413507103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hawes, JM and Lumpkin, JR (1984) Understanding the outshopper. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 12, 200217. doi: 10.1007/BF02721809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henderson, E (1999) Sharing the Harvest: A Guide to Community Supported Agriculture. White River Junction, VT, USA: Chelsea Green Publishing Company.Google Scholar
Hendrickson, D, Smith, C and Eikenberry, N (2006) Fruit and vegetable access in four low-income food deserts communities in Minnesota. Agriculture and Human Values 23, 371383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hunt, AR (2007) Consumer interactions and influences on farmers’ market vendors. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 22, 5466. doi: 10.1017/S1742170507001597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Innis, J (1994) Community Supported Agriculture or, the Next Best Thing to Owning a Farm. San Diego, CA, USA: San Diego Earth Times, 13.Google Scholar
Jilcott, SB, Hurwitz, J, Moore, JB and Blake, C (2010a) Qualitative perspectives on the use of traditional and nontraditional food venues among middle- and low-income women in eastern North Carolina. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 49, 373389. doi: 10.1080/03670244.2010.507438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jilcott, SB, Liu, H, Moore, JB, Bethel, JW, Wilson, J and Ammerman, AS (2010b) Commute times, food retail gaps, and body mass index in North Carolina counties. Preventing Chronic Disease 7, 110.Google Scholar
Kane, DJ and Lohr, L (1997) Maximizing shareholder retention in southeastern CSAs.Google Scholar
Kaufman, P (1998) Rural poor have less access to supermarkets, large grocery stores. Rural Development Perspectives 13, 1926.Google Scholar
Kirwan, J (2004) Alternative strategies in the UK agro-food system: interrogating the alterity of farmers’ markets. Sociologia Ruralis 44, 395415. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2004.00283.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kolodinsky, JM and Pelch, LL (1997) Factors influencing the decision to join a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 10, 129141. doi: 10.1300/J064v10n02_11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kolodinsky, J, Sitaker, M, Chase, L, Smith, D and Wang, W (2020) Food systems disruptions: turning a threat into an opportunity for local food systems. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9, 14. doi: 10.5304/jafscd.2020.093.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Landis, B, Smith, TE, Lairson, M, Mckay, K, Nelson, H and O'Briant, J (2010) Community-supported agriculture in the research triangle region of North Carolina: demographics and effects of membership on household food supply and diet. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 5, 7084. doi: 10.1080/19320240903574403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Liese, AD, Weis, KE, Pluto, D, Smith, E and Lawson, A (2007) Food store types, availability, and cost of foods in a rural environment. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 5, 7084. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2007.08.012.Google Scholar
McEntee, J and Agyeman, J (2010) Towards the development of a GIS method for identifying rural food deserts: geographic access in Vermont, USA. Applied Geography 30, 165176. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2009.05.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miewald, C, Holben, D and Hall, P (2012) Role of a food box program: in fruit and vegetable consumption and food security. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 73, 5965. doi: 10.3148/73.2.2012.59.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Morgan, EH, Severs, MM, Hanson, KL, McGuirt, J, Becot, F, Wang, W, Kolodinsky, J, Sitaker, M, Pitts, SBJ, Ammerman, A and Seguin, RA (2018) Gaining and maintaining a competitive edge: evidence from CSA members and farmers on local food marketing strategies. Sustainability (Switzerland) 10, 2177. doi: 10.3390/su10072177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morton, LW, Bitto, EA, Oakland, MJ and Sand, M (2005) Solving the problems of Iowa food deserts: food insecurity and civic structure. Rural Sociology 70, 94112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mullis, K and Kim, M (2011) Factors determining in shopping in rural US communities. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 39, 326345. doi: 10.1108/09590551111130757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murdoch, J, Marsden, T and Banks, J (2000) Quality, nature, and embeddedness: some theoretical considerations in the context of the food sector. Economic Geography 76, 107125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O'Brien, M (2008) Small town grocers in Iowa: What does the future hold? Vol. No. 12970.Google Scholar
Penchansky, R and Thomas, JW (1981) The concept of access: definition and relationship to consumer satisfaction. Medical Care 19, 127140. doi: 10.1097/00005650-198102000-00001.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Peters, J (1997) Community food systems: working toward a sustainable future. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 97, 955956. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(97)00230-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pinard, CA, Shanks, C, Harden, SM and Yaroch, AL (2016) An integrative literature review of small food store research across urban and rural communities in the U.S.. Preventive Medicine Reports 3, 324332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ramirez, AS, Diaz Rios, LK, Valdez, Z, Estrada, E and Ruiz, A (2017) Bringing produce to the people: implementing a social marketing food access intervention in rural food deserts. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 49, 166174. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.10.017.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Richards, R and Smith, C (2006) Shelter environment and placement in community affects lifestyle factors among homeless families in Minnesota. American Journal of Health Promotion 21, 3644.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rogers, EM (1995) Elements of Diffusion, 4th Edn New York, NY, USA: Free Press, pp. 134. Diffusion of Innovations.Google ScholarPubMed
Rose, D and Richards, R (2004) Food store access and household fruit and vegetable use among participants in the US Food Stamp Program. 7, 10811088.Google ScholarPubMed
Rothstein, M (2019). Grocery Stores Remain Solid, But the Amazon Pain is Coming. New York, NY, USA: Bisnow.Google Scholar
Russell, WS and Zepeda, L (2008) The adaptive consumer: shifting attitudes, behavior change and CSA membership renewal. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 23, 136148. doi: 10.1017/S1742170507001962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sage, C (2003) Quality in alternative food networks: conventions, regulations and governance. In International Seminar Policies Governance and Innovation for Rural Areas.Google Scholar
Selfa, T and Qazi, J (2005) Place, taste, or face-to-face? Understanding producer-consumer networks in ‘local’ food systems in Washington State. Agriculture and Human Values 22, 451464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shih, TH and Fan, X (2009) Comparing response rates in e-mail and paper surveys: a meta-analysis. Educational Research Review 4, 2640. doi: 10.1016/j.edurev.2008.01.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sitaker, M, Kolodinsky, J, Jilcott Pitts, S and Seguin, R (2014) Do entrepreneurial food systems innovations impact rural economies and health? Evidence and gaps. American Journal of Entrepreneurship 7, 316.Google ScholarPubMed
Smith, C and Morton, LW (2009) Rural food deserts: low-income perspectives on food access in Minnesota and Iowa. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 41, 176187. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2008.06.008.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Smith, D, Greco, L, Van Soleon Kim, J, Sitaker, M, Chase, L, Estrin, H and Kolodinsky, J (2018) Farm fresh food Box: an innovative new business model in rural communities. Rural Connections 12, 2528.Google Scholar
Smith, D, Wang, W, Chase, L, Estrin, H and Kim, JVS (2019) Perspectives from the field: adaptions in CSA models in response to changing times in the U.S. Sustainability (Switzerland) 11, 3115. doi: 10.3390/su11113115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stevenson, GW, Clancy, K, King, R, Lev, L, Ostrom, M and Smith, S (2011) Midscale food value chains: an introduction. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 1, 2734. doi: 10.5304/jafscd.2011.014.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Timperio, A, Ball, K, Roberts, R, Campbell, K, Andrianopoulos, N and Crawford, D (2008) Children's fruit and vegetable intake: associations with the neighbourhood food environment. Preventive Medicine 46, 331335.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Torjusen, H, Lieblein, G and Vittersø, G (2008) Learning, communicating and eating in local food-systems: the case of organic box schemes in Denmark and Norway. Local Environment 13, 219234. doi: 10.1080/13549830701669252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valchuis, L, Conner, DS, Berlin, L and Wang, Q (2015) Stacking beliefs and participation in alternative food systems. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 10, 214229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vassalos, M, Gao, Z and Zhang, L (2017) Factors affecting current and future CSA participation. Sustainability 9, 478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yammarino, FJ, Skinner, SJ and Childers, TL (1991) Understanding mail survey response behavior: a meta-analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly 55, 613639. doi: 10.1086/269284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yousefian, A, Leighton, A, Fox, K and Hartley, D (2011) Understanding the rural food environment -perspectives of low-income parents. Rural and Remote Health 11, 32.Google ScholarPubMed
Zenk, SN, Schulz, AJ and Odoms-Young, AM (2009) How neighborhood environments contribute to obesity. American Journal of Nursing 109, 6164.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zorbas, C, Mccartan, J, De Mel, R, Narendra, K, Tassone, EC, Yin, E and Palermo, C (2018) Engaging a disadvantaged community with a fruit and vegetable box scheme. Health Promotion Journal of Australia 29, 108110.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Rural consumer response to a food distribution innovation that connects farmers, retailers, and buyers
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Rural consumer response to a food distribution innovation that connects farmers, retailers, and buyers
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Rural consumer response to a food distribution innovation that connects farmers, retailers, and buyers
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *