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A study of farmers’ market relationship among relational capital, institutional trust, consumption constraints
farmers’ market,relational capital,institutional trust,consumption constraints,intervening mechanism,
|Publication Year :||2019|
In recent years, the farmer-buyer relationship at farmers’ markets has been the focal point of scholars and received extensive treatments in literature, many of which confirmed the positive effect of such a relationship. As a relational spaces where face-to-face interactions take place, farmers’ markets have an innate farmer-buyer relationship that facilitates the components of relational capital like information exchange, trust buildup, sharing and learning, through which shared-value are established among participants. This allows consumers to reflect upon their actions in connection with their newly acquired knowledge and values regarding local foods. Consumers are also able to overcome the consumption constraints of local agri-foods, including information asymmetries and the lack of relevant knowledge.
However, researchers have also pointed out that although this enthusiasm toward local agri-food system aims to rebuild the farmer-buyer relationship, in reality, it might not be able to fulfill those idealistic promises; often, romanticized depiction of local foods on the packages overshadowed the genuine practice. Thus this study suggests that besides stressing relational capitals, non-personal, institutional norms and the trust that comes with it have a role to play, and the relationship between the institutional trust and the consumption constraints will be discussed.
As a field of practice for the local agri-food system, farmers’ markets have never been known for their convenience, product diversity, or other appealing marketness. Whether availability, quality, or prices, they all in one way or another constitute constraints to purchase for farmers’ markets, but that did not stop the continuous growth of this platform. And it is apparent that farmers’ markets not only have developed a mechanism to alleviate those barriers but established itself as the trustworthy source of safe foods among consumers. This is where the present study weighs in and contribute; by investigating the interplay between the relational capital, institutional trust , and consumption constraints within the farmer-buyer relationship at farmers’ markets, we examined if the institutional trust in farmers’ markets as an intervening mechanism between the effect of relational capital on consumption constraints.
Gathered from secondary data, this study came up with 358 effective samples, who were consumers buying local food products at farmers’ markets. Through confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling, it has been found that when applied the model theorized in this study, the institutional trust acted as the complete mediation between the effect of relational capital on consumption constraints. Moreover, a positive effect also exists where the accumulation of relational capital enhances the institutional trust in the entire system. In summary, we can conclude that the relational capital and bilateral interactions at farmers’ markets is conducive to institutional trust building. Through open and autonomous conversations, producing farmers can timely address the need of consumers and cultivate a sense of self-management and moral responsibility for their products. Fittingly directing consumers’ call for accountability results in greater institutional trust at the farmers market.
Such an arise in institutional trust leads to an interverning effect on consumers’ barrier to purchase at farmers’ markets. This study further recommends that in terms of the promotion of safety attributes and the product itself, in addition to creating an enabling environment for face-to-face interaction, a rigid and trustworthy institutional norm should be included. Furthermore, those interactions should be seen as opportunities to deepen the understanding and recognition of those way of food safety. This way, the consumption constraints at farmers’ markets can be further diminished, which benefits the operation of this entire category.
|Appears in Collections:||生物產業傳播暨發展學系|
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