The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to formulate an exhaustive list of the issues, gaps, and barriers at each level of the agri-food value chain in North Carolina (NC), and second, to identify the issues of greatest importance to its members.
This research employed the Delphi technique in two stages of input. The first round of input was designed to create a comprehensive list of issues for each of nine “stages” of the agri-food value chain. In round two, the issues were prioritized.
The top ten responses of each stage were aggregated into themes that represent the most critical issues identified by respondents: connectedness within the value chain, access to markets and marketing, affordability/availability of food and food distribution, farm profitability, societal awareness, and education about healthy, local food, and supporting institutions.
The findings could be used by practitioners to inspire innovation in food-related products, programs, processes, organization, and marketing. The findings can help farmers, institutions, food distributors, policy makers, and other members of the agri-food value chain to make decisions about food distribution and access in NC and in other states facing similar issues and circumstances. The findings of this research also have further reaching implications, such as the connectivity of members along the agri-food value chain, the impact of a strong agri-food value chain on agritourism and the potential value of state marketing initiatives.
The authors wish to express gratitude to East Carolina University for their support of this study: the Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy, the Division of Research and Graduate Studies, and the Center for Sustainable Tourism. The work in this manuscript is based on a project conducted through the Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy.
Kline, C.S., Joyner, L.E., Kirchoff, J.F., Crawford, A., Jilcott Pitts, S., Wall-Bassett, E., Gurganus, C. and Dunning, R. (2016), "Gaps and barriers along the North Carolina agri-food value chain", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 2, pp. 301-317. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-06-2015-0223Download as .RIS
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