Explore Local: Research

 
 
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Explore Local Research

  • Two research reports assessing the demand for local food in both Calgary and Edmonton are now available. The purpose of the studies was to increase awareness and understanding of consumers buying local food through direct marketing channels such as farmers’ markets, farm retail and community supported agriculture (CSA) / farm box programs as well as through other market channels such as ethnic grocery stores; health food, natural or organic food stores and restaurants serving local food as well as to provide market channel/consumer segmentation information for target marketing.
  • The Community Supported Agriculture Study final report is now available. The purpose of the study was to profile community shared agriculture, also known as community supported agriculture (CSA) operators in Alberta and increase understanding of the business models, pricing structures and performance of CSAs. The research involved three primary components: a literature review, a survey conducted by interviewing 25 CSA operators and a focus group to validate research findings.
  • The Alternative Agricultural Markets in Alberta, 2012 report is now available. In 2004, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry established a baseline estimate of the value for farmers’ markets and farm retail and investigated their growth potential. The study was repeated in 2008 and 2012. The 2012 study continued to explore the trend to purchase local food, “food grown or made in Alberta,” and its value represented at farmers’ markets and farm retail.
This study also established baselines for two other market channels:
1. restaurants serving local food 
2. community supported agriculture or community shared agriculture (CSA)/box programs
  • In 2011 and 2012, Explore Local conducted a series of case studies on local food supply chains in Alberta. These studies cover 15 different supply chain cases. This design allows for comparisons of 3 supply chain types (direct, intermediated and mainstream) for the same product in the same location, and of the same supply chain type across products. Cross product comparison allows general conclusions to be drawn on how direct market and intermediated supply chain performance compares with the performance of the mainstream supply chain.
  • In 2011, Explore Local conducted a series of case studies on local food supply chains in Alberta. The pilot study was taken with producers selling differentiated beef products (grass-fed, natural or organic) at farmers’ markets, local grocers and mainstream supermarkets in Alberta. The results indicated producers receive a greater share of retail prices in local food supply chains. The case study described local food supply chains that fill a unique market niche with a differentiated product, nevertheless, the niche product has been successfully introduced into the broader food system, the mainstream supermarket, without significantly reducing its price premium and the producer share of retail prices. All producers interviewed in local food supply chains regardless of their differences in scale and marketing outlets, gained high satisfaction because of receiving a price premium, stronger social network and positive product feedback.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Abby Verstraete.
This information published to the web on July 8, 2016.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 9, 2017.