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Consumer perceptions about local food in New Zealand, and the role of life cycle-based environmental sustainability

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Hiroki, S. (main author), Garnevska, E. (author), McLaren, S. (author), Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Journal article
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
attitudes, communication analysis, consumers, environment, food, perceptions, socio-economic aspects, sustainability, local, New Zealand (Oceania), food research, Local food, Alternative food networks
27 pages., Via online journal., Local food is a popular subject among consumers, as well as food producers, distributors, policymakers and researchers in many countries. Previous research has identified that the definition of local food varies by context, and from country to country. The literature also suggested that environmental sustainability is one of the goals for many of the local food movements. While there is a substantial body of literature on local food internationally, limited research has been undertaken in New Zealand. This paper aims to understand how consumers define local food, what attributes they associate with local food, and the extent to which life cycle-based environmental aspects are represented in these attributes. Primary research employed quantitative methodology. This study identified that a majority of the respondents considered that local food may be defined as food that was produced in New Zealand and that support for community was the most important attribute associated with local food. Reduced GHG emission, conserving the landscape, and organic production were the life cycle-based environmental attributes that were associated with local food. This study provides a basis for further research into understandings of local food in New Zealand and how to improve communication among different social actors with respect to demand and supply of local food.