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The diverse values and motivations of Vermont farm to institution supply chain actors

By D. S. Conner, N. Sevoian, S. N. Heiss, L. Berlin

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Farm to institution (FTI) efforts aim to increase the amount of locally produced foods, typically fruits and vegetables, served by institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, senior meal sites, and correctional facilities. Scholars have cited these efforts as contributing to public health and community-based food systems goals. Prior research has found that relationships based on shared values have played a critical role in motivating and sustaining FTI efforts. We review previous studies, discussing values that motivate participation, and affect practices and relationships in FTI supply chains. We use semi-structured interviews to better understand supply chain actors' values and motivations and how they affect behaviors, with the aim of informing efforts to increase the scope and effectiveness of FTI efforts. All participants are currently engaged in FTI efforts. We find a mix of social and economic values were present for farmers, distributors, and buyers. Our implications focus on the importance of shared values and relationships, the benefit of local food for businesses along the supply chain, and the potential of non-school institution markets as entry points for farmers.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 27
Issue 5
Pages 695-713
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
Publisher Springer
DOI 10.1007/s10806-013-9485-4
Language English
Author Address Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont, 2-5H Morrill Hall, 146 University Place, Burlington, VT 05405,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Agencies and organizations
  2. Agriculture
  3. APEC countries
  4. Countries
  5. Developed countries
  6. Food production
  7. Food science
  8. Humans
  9. Institutions
  10. Marketing
  11. motivation
  12. New England
  13. North America
  14. OECD countries
  15. participation
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Social psychology and social anthropology
  18. social values
  19. United States of America
  20. Vermont
  1. peer-reviewed