Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-n4bck Total loading time: 0.332 Render date: 2022-08-08T10:54:34.965Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

What does ‘local’ mean in the grocery store? Multiplicity in food retailers' perspectives on sourcing and marketing local foods

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 September 2010

Jonnie B. Dunne
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences, Willamette University, 900 State St, Salem, OR 97301, USA.
Kimberlee J. Chambers*
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences, Willamette University, 900 State St, Salem, OR 97301, USA.
Katlyn J. Giombolini
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences, Willamette University, 900 State St, Salem, OR 97301, USA.
Sheridan A. Schlegel
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences, Willamette University, 900 State St, Salem, OR 97301, USA.
*
*Corresponding author: kchamber@willamette.edu

Abstract

Local food systems are comprised of networks of actors that work to ensure the sustainability of food supplies within communities. While local food has typically been promoted through direct marketing strategies such as farmers' markets and community-supported agriculture (CSA), retail stores are increasingly carrying and marketing local foods in response to consumer demand and market potential. Given the frequency with which consumers shop at grocery stores, as well as the portion of consumers' food purchases made at these locations, these stores may play a significant role in the success of local agriculture and the shaping of ideology about what is ‘local’. We conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with representatives of food retailers known to source and market local foods in the four major urban centers of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Our results reveal that grocers' perceptions of local food vary significantly from one another. Additionally, our results differed in comparison to the published literature on consumers' and producers' ideas of what constitutes local. Food retailers identified varying distances (frequently a region including several states) that they consider local, as well as diverse reasons for choosing to source and market local foods (most commonly supporting the local economy). Some trends in the variation of responses relate to how the size and form of ownership of the grocery stores influence the level at which decisions are made. These wide-ranging perceptions outline many of the realities of the local food movement, as well as opportunities for change.

Type
Research Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1Coit, M. 2008. Jumping on the next bandwagon: an overview of the policy and legal aspects of the local food movement. Journal of Food Law and Policy 4(1):4570.Google Scholar
2Feenstra, G.W. 1997. Local food systems and sustainable communities. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12(1):2836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
3Allen, P. 1999. Reweaving the food security safety net: Mediating entitlement and entrepreneurship. Agriculture and Human Values 16(2):117129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
4Darby, K., Batte, M.T., Ernst, S., and Roe, B. 2008. Decomposing local: a conjoint analysis of locally produced foods. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 90(2):476486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
5Stephenson, G. and Lev, L. 2007. Common support for local agriculture in two contrasting Oregon communities. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 19(4):210217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6Sherriff, G. 2009. Towards healthy local food: Issues in achieving just sustainability. Local Environment 14(1):7392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
7Jones, P., Comfort, D., and Hillier, D. 2004. A case study of local food and its routes to market in the UK. British Food Journal 106(4):328335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
8Ilbery, B., Watts, D., Simpson, S., Gilg, A., and Little, J. 2006. Mapping local foods: evidence from two English regions. British Food Journal 108(3):213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
9Futamura, T. 2007. Made in Kentucky: the meaning of ‘local’ food products in Kentucky's farmers' markets. Japanese Journal of American Studies 18:209228.Google Scholar
10Peters, C.J., Bills, N.L., Wilkins, J.L., and Fick, G.W. 2008b. Foodshed analysis and its relevance to sustainability. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 24(1):17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
11Smith, A.D. and MacKinnon, J. 2007. The 100-mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. Three Rivers Press, New York City, NY.Google Scholar
12Nichol, L. 2003. Local food production: Some implications for planning. Planning Theory and Practice 4(4):409427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
13Born, B. and Purcell, M. 2006. Avoiding the local trap: scale and food systems in planning research. Journal of Planning Education and Research 26(2):195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
14Coley, D., Howard, M., and Winter, M. 2008. Local food, food miles and carbon emissions: a comparison of farm shop and mass distribution approaches. Food Policy 34(2):150155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
15Edwards-Jones, G., York, E.H., Cross, P., Plassmann, K., Hospido, A., Hounsome, B., Hounsome, N., Mila, C., Koerber, G., and Truninger, M. 2008. Testing the assertion that ‘local food is best’: the challenges of an evidence-based approach. Trends in Food Science and Technology 19(5):265274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
16Hinrichs, C.C. 2000. Embeddedness and local food systems: notes on two types of direct agricultural market. Journal of Rural Studies 16(3):295303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
17Zepeda, L. and Leviten-Reid, C. 2004. Consumers’ views on local food. Journal of Food Distribution Research 35(3):16.Google Scholar
18Selfa, T. and Qazi, J. 2005. Place, taste, or face-to-face? Understanding producer–consumer networks in ‘local’ food systems in Washington State. Agriculture and Human Values 22(4):451464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
19Winter, M. 2003. Embeddedness, the new food economy and defensive localism. Journal of Rural Studies 19(1):2332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
20Macias, T. 2008. Working toward a just, equitable, and local food system: the social impact of community-based agriculture. Social Science Quarterly 89(5):10861101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
21Sherriff, G. 2009. Towards healthy local food: Issues in achieving just sustainability. Local Environment 14(1):7392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
22Hinrichs, C.C. 2003. The practice and politics of food system localization. Journal of Rural Studies 19(1):3345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
23Delind, L.B. 2006. Of bodies, place, and culture: re-situating local food. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19(2):121146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
24Feagan, R. 2007. The place of food: mapping out the ‘local’ in local food systems. Progress in Human Geography 31(1):23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
25Guptill, A. and Wilkins, J.L. 2002. Buying into the food system: trends in food retailing in the US and implications for local foods. Agriculture and Human Values 19(1):3951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
26Morris, C. and Buller, H. 2003. The local food sector. British Food Journal 105(8):559566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
27Borst, A. 2008. Farmers, co-ops and local food marketing. Rural Cooperatives 75:1012.Google Scholar
28Blake, M.K., Mellor, J., and Crane, L. 2010. Buying local food: shopping practices, place, and consumption networks in defining food as ‘local’. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100(2):409426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
29Allen, J.H. 2006. Assessing the Market Dynamics of ‘Value-Added’ Agriculture and Food Businesses in Oregon: Challenges and Opportunities. Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices, Portland State University, Portland, USA.Google Scholar
30Winter, M. 2003. Geographies of food: agro-food geographies making reconnections. Progress in Human Geography 27(4):505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
31Watts, D., Ilbery, B., and Maye, D. 2005. Making reconnections in agro-food geography: Alternative systems of food provision. Progress in Human Geography 29(1):22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
32Norberg-Hodge, H. 1996. Shifting direction. In Mander, J. and Goldsmith, E. (eds). The Case against the Global Economy and for a Turn to the Local. Sierra Club, San Francisco, CA, p. 3346.Google Scholar
33Allen, P., Fitz-Simmons, M., Goodman, M., and Warner, K. 2003. Shifting plates in the agrifood landscape: The tectonics of alternative agrifood initiatives in California. Journal of Rural Studies 19(1):6175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
34Berg, P. and Dasmann, R. 1977. Reinhabiting California. The Ecologist 7(10):399401.Google Scholar
35Oregon Blue Book. 2009. City Government. Available at Web site: http://bluebook.state.or.us/local/cities/citieshome.htm (accessed July 2009).Google Scholar
36Oregon Geospatial Data Clearinghouse. 2008. GEO Spatial Data Library. Available at Web site http://oregon.gov/DAS/EISPD/GEO/sdlibrary.shtml (accessed July 2009).Google Scholar
37Pacific Northwest Ecosystem Research Consortium. 2002. Available at Web site http://www.fsl.orst.edu/pnwerc/wrb/access.html (accessed July 2009).Google Scholar
38Forsman, S. and Paananen, J. 2004. Value creation in local food supply chains: market opportunities and challenges. In 14th Annual IAMA World Food & Agribusiness Symposium Papers and Presentations, 12–15 June 2004, Montreux, Switzerland.Google Scholar
39Harper, R. 2008. ‘Local’ trend bodes well for supermarkets. Supermarket News, March 10:36.Google Scholar
40Pollan, M. 2007. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin Press, New York City, NY.Google Scholar
41Kingsolver, B., Hopp, S., and Kingsolver, C. 2007. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Harper Collins, New York City, NY.Google Scholar
42Peters, C.J., Bills, N.L., Lembo, A.J., Wilkins, J.L., and Fick, G.W. 2008a. Mapping potential foodsheds in New York State: a spatial model for evaluating the capacity to localize food production. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 24(1):7284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
43Starr, A., Card, A., Benepe, C., Auld, G., Lamm, D., Smith, K., and Wilken, K. 2003. Sustaining local agriculture barriers and opportunities to direct marketing between farms and restaurants in Colorado. Agriculture and Human Values 20(3):301321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
44Willamette Farm & Food Coalition. Connecting Farmers and Consumers. Available at Web site http://lanefood.org/home.php (accessed May 2010).Google Scholar
45OSU Extension Service—Food Innovation Center. Food Innovation Center. Available at Web site http://fic.oregonstate.edu/ (accessed May 2010).Google Scholar
46Agricultural Marketing Service. Country of Origin Labeling. Available at Web site http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/cool (accessed July 2009).Google Scholar
47Lyson, T.A. and Raymer, A.L. 2000. Stalking the Wily multinational: power and control in the US food system. Agriculture and Human Values 17(2):199208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
48Hendrickson, M., Heffernan, W.D., Howard, P.H., and Heffernan, J.B. 2001. Consolidation in food retailing and dairy. British Food Journal 103(10):715728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
49Pirog, R. and McCann, N. 2009. A consumer price perspective on local and non-local foods purchased in Iowa. Leopold Center. Available at Web site http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/pubs/staff/prices.html (accessed May 2010).Google Scholar
50Pirog, R. and Rasmussen, R. 2008. Food, fuel and the future: consumer perceptions of local food, food safety and climate change in the context of rising prices. Leopold Center. Available at Web site http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/pubs/staff/consumer2/consumer2.pdf (accessed May 2010).Google Scholar
51United States Congress. 2008. Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. House of Representatives, Public Law:110–234. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
52Feenstra, G.W. 2002. Creating space for sustainable food systems: lessons from the field. Agriculture and Human Values 19(2):99–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
53Farmers Weekly. 2007. Waitrose in wrangle over definition of term ‘local’. Farmers Weekly 147(6):40.Google Scholar
54The Grocer. 2008. Local v organic. Available at Web site http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/articles.aspx?page=articles&ID=127041 (accessed September 2009).Google Scholar
55Orgel, D. 2008. Tackling the global controversy over local foods. Supermarket News. Available at Web site http://supermarketnews.com/viewpoints/tackling_global_controversy/index.html (accessed September 2009).Google Scholar
56Portland Food and Drink. Is Safeway selling out of state produce as locally grown. An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink. Available at Web site http://www.portlandfoodanddrink.com/2009/06/22/which-is-it-safeway/ (accessed July 2009).Google Scholar
57Louden, F.N. and MacRae, R. 2010. Federal regulation of local and sustainable food labels in Canada: a case study of Local Food Plus. Agriculture and Human Values. On-line: DOI: 10.1007/s10460-009-9209-6]. Available at Web site http://www.springerlink.com/content/fk184l673010xu02/ (accessed July 2009).Google Scholar
58Goreham, G. and Stofeerahn, C. 2001. Enhancing Local/Regional Food Systems for Sustainable Development—Leader's Workbook. North Dakota State University, USA.Google Scholar
59United States Geological Survey. 2008. Science in Your Watershed—Pacific Northwest Region. Available at Web site http://water.usgs.gov/wsc/reg/17.html (accessed September 2009).Google Scholar
60Dairy Creek Community Food Web. Willamette valley agriculture. Available at Web site http://willamettevalleyagriculture.wikidot.com/dairy-creek-community-food-web (accessed September 2009).Google Scholar
61MacCormack, H.Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project. Available at Web site http://www.mudcitypress.com/beanandgrain.html (accessed July 2009).Google Scholar
62Oregon Tilth. Welcome to Oregon Tilth. Available at Web site http://www.tilth.org/ (accessed September 2009).Google Scholar
63United States Department of Agriculture. Resources for local food systems. Available at Web site http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/food/in_focus/health_if_usda_local_food.html (accessed September 2009).Google Scholar
68
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

What does ‘local’ mean in the grocery store? Multiplicity in food retailers' perspectives on sourcing and marketing local foods
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

What does ‘local’ mean in the grocery store? Multiplicity in food retailers' perspectives on sourcing and marketing local foods
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

What does ‘local’ mean in the grocery store? Multiplicity in food retailers' perspectives on sourcing and marketing local foods
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *