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The Case for Local Foods. Mid-Ohio Valley: Ag. Opportunities Conference Jeff S. Sharp, Ohio State University March 17, 2007. Ohio Survey Core Project of the SRI. Outline of Presentation. This is a dense presentation, informed by a lot of data

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the case for local foods

The Case for Local Foods

Mid-Ohio Valley: Ag. Opportunities Conference

Jeff S. Sharp, Ohio State University

March 17, 2007

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • This is a dense presentation, informed by a lot of data
  • Highlight 4 noteworthy themes from the 2006 Ohio Survey of Food, Agriculture & Environmental Issues
  • Discuss characteristics of 5 consumer types, characterized by their interest in organic or local
    • Also consider a motivated food consumer group as well
  • Concluding observations
2006 survey
2006 Survey
  • Mail survey returned from 1,729 Ohioans
  • Response rate of 55%
    • Respondents compare favorably to known characteristics of Ohio population
      • A higher proportion of respondents were homeowners than is true of Ohio’s general population
    • Just over 3 percent of respondents resided on a farm
slide6

#1: Must Prepare for Generational Transitions:Knowledge, participation & support of ag. consistently higher among older Ohioans

views of farming
Views of Farming
  • Overall, farming positively contributes to the quality of life in Ohio
    • 2006: 88 percent agree or strongly agree
    • 2004: 90 percent
    • 2002: 92 percent
ag economy
Ag & Economy
  • Ohio’s Economy will suffer if the state continues to lose farmers
    • 2006: 84 percent agree or strongly agree
    • 2004: 85 percent
    • 2002: 80 percent
views of farmers
Views of Farmers
  • I trust Ohio farmers to protect the environment
    • 2006: 63 percent agree or strongly agree
    • 2004: 67 percent
    • 2002: 60 percent
animal welfare
Animal Welfare
  • In general, increased regulation of the treatment of animals in farming is needed
    • 2006: 51 percent agree or strongly agree
    • 2004: 47 percent
    • 2002: 48 percent
slide15

#3: Farmer-Nonfarmer Relationships Matter:Visiting with a farmer associated with increased support & reduced concerns(63% of Ohioans report having no conversations with farm household members)

slide16

#4: Building Bridges to Nonfarmers—Participation in Farm & Rural “Recreation” Strongly Associated with Knowledge & Attitudes:Must be prepared for the consequence, though

research context
Research Context
  • Organic “industrialization” challenges some basic tenets of sustainable agriculture\'s vision
    • Decoupling of the link between organic and local
  • Research question
    • Who are the consumers that value the local and/or organic attributes?
why consider typologies
Why Consider Typologies
  • Understanding motivations behind consumption
  • Assist growers and retailers in understanding and developing their market
  • See Hartman Group for ongoing market research & Consumer Profiles
ohio types based on interest in local organic
Ohio Types, based on interest in Local & Organic
  • Disinclined (19.2%)—rate both local and organic as not important factors when making food purchases
  • Moderately inclined (35.7%)—rate organic and local as somewhat important considerations
ohio types cont
Ohio types (cont.)
  • Locally inclined (20.2%)—rate local as important, but not organic
  • Organically inclined (5.6%)—rate organic as important, but not local
  • Dual inclined (19.3%)—rate organic and local both as very important factors
disinclined 19 percent
Disinclined (19 percent)
  • Food safety:
    • Lowest level of concern about food safety
  • Health
    • Little agreement that organic foods are healthier than conventional
  • Demographics
    • Slightly higher proportion in Central and Southeast Ohio
    • Large proportion of suburbanites
moderately inclined 36 percent
Moderately Inclined (36 percent)
  • Food safety:
    • Modest level of concern about food safety
  • Health
    • Modest agreement that organic foods are healthier than conventional
  • Attitudes about Farming/Farmers
    • Modest to low social linkages to farmers
organically inclined 6 percent
Organically Inclined (6 percent)
  • Food safety:
    • High concern about food safety
  • Health
    • Strong belief that organic foods are healthier than conventional
  • Demographics
    • Youngest, highest income, most educated
    • Largest proportion w/ children under 5 in the home
organically inclined cont
Organically Inclined (cont.)
  • Attitudes about Farming/Farmers
    • Low level of trust of farmers to protect the environment
    • Relatively low rating of grown in Ohio attribute and modest rating of keeping a farmer in business
    • Fewest social ties to farmers
locally inclined 20 percent
Locally Inclined (20 percent)
  • Food safety:
    • Modest concern about food safety
  • Health
    • Little agreement that organic foods are healthier than conventional
locally inclined cont
Locally Inclined (cont.)
  • Attitudes about Farming/Farmers
    • Strongest social linkages to farmers
    • High level of trust of farmers to protect the environment
    • High rating of grown in Ohio attribute and keep a farmer in business
locally inclined cont35
Locally Inclined (cont.)
  • Shopping Behaviors
    • 24% frequently shop at Farmer’s Market
    • Low frequency--member of food co-op or purchasing from a natural food grocer
  • Demographics
    • Slightly younger than state average, slightly higher income than state average
    • Slightly higher proportion of Northwest Ohioans
dual inclined 19 percent
Dual Inclined (19 percent)
  • Food safety:
    • Highest level of concern about food safety
  • Health
    • Strong agreement that organic foods are healthier than conventional
    • 82 percent indicate being health conscious
dual inclined cont
Dual Inclined (cont.)
  • Attitudes about Farming/Farmers
    • Highest level of trust of farmers to protect the environment
    • Highest concern about the treatment of animals in farming
    • Very high rating of grown in Ohio attribute and of keeping a farmer in business
dual inclined cont38
Dual Inclined (cont.)
  • Shopping Behaviors
    • 34% frequently shop at Farmer’s Market
    • Relatively high frequency--member of food co-op or purchasing from a natural food grocer
  • Demographics
    • Much older on average, less educated, lower income
    • More common city or small town resident; also relatively higher frequency in southeast
    • Much more likely to be women
motivated consumers
Motivated Consumers
  • Mail survey of household of a relatively long-lived neighborhood food co-op located in Central Ohio
    • Sample was all household co-op members allowing address to be used for mailing purposes
    • 304 responses (74% response rate)
  • Conducted Winter/Spring 2005
motivated consumers41
Motivated Consumers
  • Food safety:
    • High level of concern about food safety (~Dual)
  • Health
    • Near unanimous agreement that organic foods are healthier than conventional
    • Nearly all indicate being health conscious
motivated consumers cont
Motivated Consumers (cont.)
  • Shopping Behaviors
    • 33% frequently shop at Farmer’s Market (~Dual)
    • All members of food co-op
  • Demographics
    • Much younger, relative to average statewide respondent
    • Very highly educated (81% BA or more), Average income levels
    • Very liberal (all others types moderates)
    • 70% women
1 we find 2 broad classes of local food system supporters

#1: We find 2 broad classes of local food system supporters

Local only—strong interest in supporting farmers & Ohio farming

Local (& organic)—Health, environment, broader spectrum of food & farming attributes

2 price convenience remain important to both local dual inclined

#2: Price & Convenience remain important to both local & dual inclined

Challenge of developing the local foods distribution infrastructure

3 generational transitions challenge to both the local dual sets

#3: Generational Transitions—challenge to both the local & dual sets

Local—growing social distance from farming

Dual—will younger be interested in cooking with whole foods?

questions

Questions?

Contact Information:

Jeff S. Sharp

[email protected]

614-292-9410

http//.ohiosurvey.osu.edu

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