Inderscience Publishers

Stakeholder perceptions of alternative food entrepreneurs

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This paper focuses on rural entrepreneurs' perceptions of their stakeholders with respect to their influence towards the economic success of farms and environmental issues, as well as their trustworthiness. There is special emphasis on the comparison of perceptions between suppliers of alternative food supply chains and suppliers of conventional supply chains. Survey research, with a final sample size of 522 rural entrepreneurs in Central Finland, was used as a research method. The results showed that 28% of the respondents could be defined as alternative food entrepreneurs. Significant differences between alternative and conventional food entrepreneurs were related to perceptions towards consumers, retailers/wholesalers, production input manufacturers and local farmers. The conclusion was made that particularly the relationship between alternative food entrepreneurs and consumers should be the focus of further studies.

Keywords: alternative food supply chains, Finland, sustainable entrepreneurship, local food, organic food, small-scale rural entrepreneurs, economic performance, environmental performance, trust, stakeholders, farms, trustworthiness, sustainability

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