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Are farmers in alternative food networks social entrepreneurs? Evidence from a behavioral approach

By G. Migliore, G. Schifani, P. Romeo, S. Hashem, L. Cembalo

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Social entrepreneurship, individual activities with a social objective, is used in this study as a conceptual tool for empirically examining farmers' participation in alternative food networks (AFNs). This study verifies whether their participation is driven by the social entrepreneurship dimension to satisfy social and environmental needs. We develop a more inclusive view of how social entrepreneurship is present among farmers participating in AFNs by using a behavioural approach based on three main psychological constructs: attitude, objective, and behaviour. The empirical results show that two types of farmers participate in AFNs. One type is closer to commercial entrepreneurs; the main attitudes and objectives affecting their behaviour are oriented toward profit maximization and farm progress. The second type is closer to social entrepreneurial activity; the main objectives affecting their behaviour are oriented towards satisfying social and environmental needs. The study's results offer implications and suggest recommendations concerning social entrepreneurial practices and the motivations of the farmers who participate in AFNs.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 28
Issue 5
Pages 885-902
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9562-y
Language English
Author Address Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences (SAF), Agricultural Economics and Policy Group, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 13, 90128 Palermo,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Alternative methods
  2. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  3. Developed countries
  4. Entrepreneurship
  5. Europe
  6. Farms
  7. Food production
  8. Food supply
  9. Italy
  10. Mediterranean region
  11. objectives
  12. OECD countries
  13. participation
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. social welfare
  1. peer-reviewed