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UVM Theses and Dissertations

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Format:
Online
Author:
Harrington, Hannah
Dept./Program:
Department of Community Development and Applied Economics
Year:
2018
Degree:
MS
Abstract:
This thesis explores the motivation behind why buyers chose to buy through food hubs, what information provided by food hubs is useful in marketing and selling local products, and how buyers allocate their money and their time that allows them to efficiently purchase local products. A mixed methods approach was used to gather data. Qualitative research methods were used in conducting semi-structured interviews with key informants. Interview questions focused on local food marketing strategies and practices, motivations for buying local, consumer behavior, firmographic characteristics, communication, challenges, opportunities, and relationships. In addition, data was collected through an online survey that followed the same themes. These themes were identified through a review of alternative food network literature, which identified gaps in knowledge on the buyer-side of the food hub value chain. The themes that emerged from these semi-structured interviews and online survey have been used to better understand buyer motivations for purchasing local food through food hubs, how buyers make use of the information, services, and marketing material provided by food hubs, and what strategies buyers use to integrate local food purchasing efficiently into their budget.