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International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Published by Michigan State University

Official publication of the Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC-40)
of the International Sociological Association (ISA)

Editors: Raymond Jussaume, Claire Marris and Katerina Psarikidou

Frequency: 3 issues per year 
ISSN: 0798-1759

Volume 17 Issue 2 (2010)

Local Food at Italian Farmers’ Markets: Three Case Studies                                                                                      122-139

Author: Riccardo Vecchio
Affiliation: Department of Economics ‘S. Vinci’, University of Naples ‘Parthenope’, Naples, Italy

Abstract            PDF

Despite the massive industrialization of the world agri-food system and the consequent detachment of food production from its consumption, several studies, conducted in Italy as well as in other European countries and in the United States, have shown growing consumer interest in recent years towards the local attribute of food. In this framework, farmers’ markets are perceived increasingly as key institutions in the trend towards a less industrialized agriculture and as vital developers of a strong link between urban consumers and rural food producers. Although a plethora of theoretical and empirical research on farmers’ markets can be retrieved in academic literature, important questions still remain concerning the demand and supply of locally produced goods at these forms of direct sale. The current article, presenting the results of consumers’ focus group discussions, in-depth interviews with vendors and direct observation at three Italian markets (Montevarchi, Naples and Potenza) provides empirical support that the desire to purchase locally produced food is not high on the list of surveyed shoppers’ priorities.

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