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In search of the concerned consumer: UK public perceptions of food, farming and buying local

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charlotte Paterson, Dr Angela Tregear, Johanne Allinson


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In developed countries, upstream operators in the agro-food chain are being encouraged to become more market oriented as well as to engage in more localised, alternative food systems. Yet there is a lack of empirical information regarding consumer perceptions of local foods, which limits the extent to which alternative systems can be effectively theorised and developed. This paper reports on a qualitative and quantitative study of consumer perceptions of food and farming, which has the particular aim of examining the links between consumers' priorities when choosing food, their perceptions of farming and food provisioning issues, and their interest in locally produced products. The results raise some important issues regarding the nature of consumer choice for local foods, as well as offering insights into the existence of a distinctive set of 'concerned consumers'. Implications are given for policy support of localised food systems and for the future development of conceptual work in this area. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weatherell CA, Tregear A, Allinson J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Rural Studies

Year: 2003

Volume: 19

Issue: 2

Pages: 233-244

Print publication date: 07/03/2003

ISSN (print): 0743-0167

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1392

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(02)00083-9


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