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Farm retailing : motivations and practice

Tonner, Andrea and Wilson, Juliette (2015) Farm retailing : motivations and practice. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 16 (2). pp. 111-121. ISSN 1465-7503

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This paper investigates rural diversification strategies, specifically focussing upon farm retailing. The study reveals farmers’ different motivations and experiences of structural diversification through both farmers markets and wholly owned farm shops. Using a qualitative study of eight farm businesses we find that diversification is not always motivated by entrepreneurial objectives. Necessity (push) factors (such as agri-food market inequality) act as the catalyst transforming nascent diversification tendencies. Once the need for diversification is unlocked farmers face an entrepreneurial choice: those with push motivations (such risk reduction) choose non-entrepreneurial diversification in the form of farmers markets; while those with pull motivations (such as business growth) exhibit characteristics of entrepreneurship and engage in entrepreneurial diversification in the form of on-farm retailing.