Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Margarita M. Velandia
Margarita M. Velandia, Carlos Jose Omar Trejo-Pech, Xuqi Chen, Jacqueline N. Yenerall
The mission of the food justice movement is related to addressing societal inequality and disparity issues through food-system restructuring. The food justice mission not only entails addressing unequal access to food among households but also involves addressing issues related to farmers’ wellbeing and the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of their farm business. The Kentucky-based non-profit organization New Roots Inc. has organized Fresh Stop Markets (FSM) that are markets aiming to cover multiple aspects of the food justice mission. FSM provide farm fresh produce access to low-income, food-insecure households on a sliding scale and serve as a market outlet for small- and medium-sized, limited-resource farmers. The FSM have been relatively successful in providing farm fresh produce to low-income, food-insecure households, as they have been in business for 13 years. Farmers willing to sell produce through FSM play a major role in the success of these market models. Therefore, the ability of other communities to replicate this market model is in part determined by their understanding of the factors influencing farmers’ willingness to sell produce through FSM. The goal of this study is to evaluate the factors correlated with farmers’ willingness to sell produce through markets with a food justice mission, specifically FSM.
To accomplish this goal, we used data from a 2020 survey of Tennessee and Kentucky fruit and vegetable farmers and a bivariate probit regression to evaluate the factors correlated with farmers’ willingness to sell produce through FSM at different price discount levels from retail prices. Results from the bivariate probit regression suggest that farmer and farm business characteristics including farm operator age, farm operator gender, farm size in terms of annual gross farm revenue, and dependence on farm income are correlated with farmers’ willingness to sell produce through FSM. Additionally, farmers’ engagement with certain food justice activities such as running on-farm education programs related to sustainable agriculture and/or food systems to the community, offering produce at a discounted price to low-income households, and experience as a leader or volunteer in organizations with a food justice-related mission are also correlated with farmers’ willingness to sell produce through FSM.
Denton, Riley A., "Evaluating Factors Influencing Tennessee and Kentucky Farmers’ Willingness to Sell Produce Through Fresh Stop Markets. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2022.