2023 journal article

Towards a unified definition of local food


By: S. Brune n, W. Knollenberg n, C. Barbieri n & K. Stevenson n

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: Local food consumers; Interpretations local food; Place -based food; Local food meanings
Source: Web Of Science
Added: November 13, 2023

Despite the growing popularity of local food, there is still no unified definition used across the board. The lack of unified definition of local food can prevent effective marketing, policymaking, and research efforts. Given the inconsistencies on local food definitions, we sought to fill this gap by surveying consumers’ understanding of local food in North Carolina (NC, USA) departing from three categories of definitions found in the literature; local food defined in terms of: (1) market outlet (e.g., food bought directly from the farmer); (2) locality or political boundaries (e.g., food produced within the country); and (3) distance (e.g., food produced within 100 miles of commercialization). Informed by our study results, we propose defining local food in terms of the specific locality where is produced (e.g., county or state) as opposed to defining local food in terms of distance or market outlet. While the meaning of local food will remain contested among activists, governmental entities, and researchers, this study confirms that a shared meaning among consumers is emerging that should be incorporated across policy making, marketing, and research efforts.