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Consumer Perceptions About Local Food in New Zealand, and the Role of Life Cycle-Based Environmental Sustainability

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to E. Garnevska.

Appendices

Appendix 1

See Table 1.

Table 1 Demographics of the sample by income

Appendix 2

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Table 2 Attitudes towards associations of attributes with local food

Appendix 3

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Table 3 Kruskal–Wallis and Dunn–Bonferonni test results for definitions of local food

Appendix 4

See Table 4.

Table 4 Kruskal–Wallis test results for attributes associated with local food

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Hiroki, S., Garnevska, E. & McLaren, S. Consumer Perceptions About Local Food in New Zealand, and the Role of Life Cycle-Based Environmental Sustainability. J Agric Environ Ethics 29, 479–505 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10806-016-9616-9

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Keywords

  • Local food
  • Definition of local food
  • Local food attributes
  • LCA
  • Consumer study
  • New Zealand