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Consumers' environmental responsibility and their purchase of local food: evidence from a large-scale survey

Francesco Bimbo (Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, degli Alimenti e dell'Ambiente, Universita degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy)
Carlo Russo (Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza, Universita degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, Cassino, Italy)
Antonella Di Fonzo (Centro Politiche e Bioeconomia, Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l'Analisi dell'Economia Agraria, Roma, Italy)
Gianluca Nardone (Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, degli Alimenti e dell'Ambiente, Universita degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 30 December 2020

Issue publication date: 27 April 2021

303

Abstract

Purpose

The paper explores whether consumers' environmentally sustainable attitudes and behaviors (e.g. saving water, energy, etc.) are associated with high frequency of local food purchases. The study uses a large sample of individual data collected across all Italian regions as well as accounts for the respondents' socioeconomic characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis uses a large sample of individual-level data (n = 21,081) collected by the Italian National Bureau of Statistics in the annual Italian Multipurpose Households Survey (MHS). Data contain individual information on the frequency of local food purchases as well as socioeconomic characteristics and environmentally friendly attitudes and behaviors. Data were analyzed using a multivariate ordered logit regression.

Findings

Results indicate that individuals sensitive to environmental issues and adopting sustainable behaviors are more likely to purchase local food products than others. Also, age, education and occupational status positively are associated with a high frequency of local food purchases. Reading food nutrition labels, living in small communities as well as buying organic products are strong predictors of a higher frequency of local food choices.

Originality/value

The role of individual sustainable attitudes and behaviors in local food purchases has been marginally investigated in the literature. We addressed the issue by jointly accounting for several individual-related characteristics potentially shaping such relation. To the best of authors’ knowledge, the authors use the largest sample ever used to explore the individual's local food purchases in Italy.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: No funding was received for this research.Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.Erratum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article: Francesco Bimbo, Carlo Russo, Antonella Di Fonzo and Gianluca Nardone (2020), “Consumers’ environmental responsibility and their purchase of local food: evidence from a large-scale survey”, published in British Food Journal, [Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print, 10.1108/BFJ-05-2020-0398], contained an error in the author Antonello Di Fonzo’s affiliation. The affiliation was published as: Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza, Universita degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale, Cassino, Italy. However, the correct affiliation is: Centro Politiche e Bioeconomia, Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, , Roma, Italy. This error was introduced in the editorial process and has now been corrected in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for this error and for any inconvenience caused.

Citation

Bimbo, F., Russo, C., Di Fonzo, A. and Nardone, G. (2021), "Consumers' environmental responsibility and their purchase of local food: evidence from a large-scale survey", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 5, pp. 1853-1874. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2020-0398

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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