Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Sara Carter, Elisabet Ljunggren and Friederike Welter
Chapter 12: Why do Farm Entrepreneurs Sell at Farmers’ Markets? Insights from Norway
Asbjørn Veidal and Ola Flaten A farmers’ market (FM) is a market in which growers and processors from a defined local area are present in person to sell their own produce (mainly food) directly to consumers. FMs provide low threshold retail alternatives for farm entrepreneurs to obtain direct marketing to consumers. This chapter examines the characteristics and motives of entrepreneurs selling their own produce at FMs in Norway, which were launched in 2003. A survey was undertaken in 2007 among all that used FMs as a marketing outlet at least once between 2003 and 2006. Most of the entrepreneurs used several other direct marketing channels in addition, and more than half of them were women. Primary motives for selling at FMs were direct feedback from consumers and the enjoyment of selling directly to consumers. We summarised a large number of reasons for selling at FMs into four dimensions through factor analysis: economic performance, family farming, market interactions, and opportunity exploitation. Regression analysis showed that the various factors (economics was not significant) were associated with several explanatory variables. Females, for example, scored the three significant factors higher than males. The entrepreneurial orientation dimensions (innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking) appeared to hold no influence on the motives. Our results indicate that FMs are attractive for both novel and experienced farm entrepreneurs. The specific characteristics of the direct marketing channel play a significant role, and we believe that further analysis of market channel choice would contribute to knowledge of farm entrepreneurship and small...
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