Purpose – The aim of this exploratory study was to examine and compare a range of business values held by farmers and food processors.
Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires with a section on business values were posted to 200 farmers and 200 food processing businesses in Victoria, Australia, with response rates of 44 per cent (n=69) and 31 per cent (n=48), respectively, achieved.
Findings – The most important of the 28 value items for farmers were high quality produce, honesty, and caring for employees. For processors, the most important values were quality products, customer value, and caring for employees. Between group differences reached statistical significance for one-third of the items. In particular, processor businesses valued innovation and convenience products more highly and had a stronger process orientation than did farming businesses. Environmental sustainability, caring for the community, and providing healthy products were more integral to farming than processing businesses. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation was the small sample sizes, although it is likely that response bias was not high. Future research could survey a larger sample of food industry representatives and examine the values held by other food industry sectors. Practical implications – This information could increase the effectiveness of communications with industry groups on a range of issues and in the formulation of appropriate health and environmental policies.
Originality/value – To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to compare the values of farmers and food processors. This information is particularly important for those in the food industry and health and environmental policy makers.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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