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Characteristics and Motivations of Consumers of Direct Purchasing Channels and the Perceived Barriers to Alternative Food Purchase: A Cross-Sectional Study in the Ecuadorian Andes

Gabriel April-Lalonde (), Sara Latorre (), Myriam Paredes (), María Fernanda Hurtado (), Fabián Muñoz (), Ana Deaconu (), Donald C. Cole () and Malek Batal ()
Additional contact information
Gabriel April-Lalonde: Nutrition Department, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1A8, Canada
Sara Latorre: Development, Environment and Territory Department, FLACSO Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
Myriam Paredes: Development, Environment and Territory Department, FLACSO Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
María Fernanda Hurtado: Development, Environment and Territory Department, FLACSO Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
Fabián Muñoz: Visor Análisis Estadístico Cía. Ltd.a., Madrid E12-246 y Valladolid, Quito, Ecuador
Ana Deaconu: Nutrition Department, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1A8, Canada
Donald C. Cole: Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 3M7, Canada
Malek Batal: Nutrition Department, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1A8, Canada

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 17, 1-19

Abstract: Modern food systems generate social inequalities in the access to healthy food, but some families maintain behaviors that provide an alternative to these systems. Agroecological consumers (ACs) and non-agroecological direct market consumers (DMCs) are key actors in alternative food systems. We assessed the characteristics of ACs and DMCs using data from a representative sample of households in Ibarra, Quito and Riobamba ( n = 2914). We also deepened the exploration of motivations for adopting these practices through mini-ethnographies with families who were identified as ACs or DMCs ( n = 15). We found motivations related to personal health problems, food quality (e.g., taste, freshness), and safety (e.g., avoiding pesticides) to be key. Other motivations were price and community solidarity with farmers. Barriers included inconvenience, lack of awareness, and insecurity of market location. Using Chi-square tests, we found differences between ACs and DMCs on place of residence, education, employment, health, and diet. Controlling for socioeconomic and health variables using logistic regressions, we found DMC dietary habits to be similar to the remainder of the study population, except that they were less likely to eat processed foods less frequently (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.6, 95% confidence interval 0.4–0.9). In contrast, ACs were more likely than the remainder of the study population to control their salt intake (3.2, 1.9–5.2) and have greater knowledge of nutrition labels (2.8, 1.7–4.6). They were more likely to eat traditional foods frequently (1.9, 1.1–3.3), fruit and vegetables daily (1.6, 1.0–2.8), and processed foods less frequently (2.7, 1.5–4.8). Hence, these two types of alternative food provisioning practices (AC and DMC) were adopted by different types of consumers, with heterogenous motivations and food consumption practices. These findings have implications for public health initiatives aiming to scale up the nutrition and ecological potential of alternative food systems.

Keywords: agroecology; direct market; food system; Latin America; low- and middle-income countries; mixed-method; nutrition; supply chain; sustainable consumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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