Motives for buying local, organic food through English box schemes

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explain the growing interest of English consumers in local organic food sold through box schemes, by providing insights into the motives of customers of such schemes and examining the relationship with their awareness about problems of the agro-food system. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed methods approach combined in-depth interviews with 22 box scheme customers with a quantitative survey of 416 consumers, analysed by means of principal component analysis and an ordered logit model. Findings: Consumers of small local organic box schemes in England are both altruistically and hedonistically motivated. This includes a strong political motivation to change the current food system, as shown by the strong influence of an anti-globalisation factor and wanting to support small farmers. They perceive local organic food as a more environmentally sustainable alternative to the mainstream food system. The box schemes offer consumers a practical alternative by providing high quality products combined with convenience illustrating the importance of the latter also in local food shopping. This reinforces the possibility to successfully combining the attributes of “local” and “organic”. Research limitations/implications: The study was conducted in only one country (England) with about 400 consumers of ten organic farmer-led box schemes. It was based on a self-selecting sample of consumers of such schemes, which included a large proportion of females and people with high level of education. Further research is needed to validate the results. Originality/value: This study is the first academic study investigating the main factors affecting consumers’ choice to purchase local organic food through a number of English box schemes. It identifies that such consumers are ethically and politically motivated and show some differences compared with the general literature on organic food consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1600-1614
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Food Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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