Farm shop diversificationProducer motivations and consumer attitudes

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Volume22
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jan 2021
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2021
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Abstract

The farm shop is an increasingly proliferate form of farm diversification, both as a single entity or part of a wider strategy encompassing concentric and conglomerate elements. In this context, our paper investigates whether farm shops are viable diversification options in the United Kingdom, by investigating farmer drivers to diversify via shops and consumer motives to purchase there. The research combines data collected from semi-structured interviews (9) with farm shop owners and quantitative consumer surveys (181). The findings show that the primary driver to diversify was identified as an additional income stream. Other factors recognised throughout the interviews were the employment of family members, channels to sell produce and farm location. The reoccurring diversification option linked to farm shops was the addition of a tearoom or cafe. The findings highlight quality of produce and associated presence of attractions as being key to successful diversification. Seasonality of produce, consumer awareness and shop identity are seen as barriers to the enterprise. The research adopts a novel approach by gathering insights into consumer attitudes as well as producer motivations and experiences, and the relationship between them. The research further extends previous analysis by explicitly examining consumer survey evidence on attitudes to direct purchasing of farm products and increases our understanding into farm shop diversifications potential for nurturing entrepreneurship and supporting farm business resilience. The paper raises important implications for farm businesses and policy approaches that might seek to promote an entrepreneurial stance while also extending the analysis.

Keywords

  • agriculture, consumer, diversification, entrepreneurship, farm shops, producer, rural

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