Faculty Publications

Document Type



Affinity diagramming, Consumer perspectives on local foods, Conventional food systems, Locavores, Producer perspectives on local foods, Table food production

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Agriculture and Human Values


The majority of food in the US is distributed through global/national supply chains that exclude locally-produced goods. This situation offers opportunities to increase local food production and consumption and is influenced by constraints that limit the scale of these activities. We conducted a study to assess perspectives of producers and consumers engaged in food systems of a major Midwestern city. We examined producers’ willingness to include/increase cultivation of local foods and consumers’ interest in purchasing/increasing local foods. We used focus groups of producers (two groups of conventional farmers, four local food producers) and consumers (three conventional market participants, two locavores) to pose questions about production/consumption of local foods. We transcribed discussions verbatim and examined text to identify themes, using separate affinity diagrams for producers and consumers. We found producers and consumers are influenced by the status quo and real and perceived barriers to local foods. We also learned participants believed increasing production and consumption of local foods would benefit their community and creating better infrastructure could enhance efforts to scale up local food systems. Focus group participants also indicated support from external champions/programs could support expansion of local foods. We learned that diversifying local food production was viewed as a way to support local community, increase access to healthy foods and reduce environmental impacts of conventional production. Our research indicates that encouraging producers and consumers in local food systems will be more successful when support for the local community is emphasized.


Department of Psychology

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



File Format