Hello there,

I am an entrepreneurship student with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In this survey, I'm attempting to understand the practices and challenges that local, organic farmers and artisanal food producers are facing in getting to the customers and getting a fair, steady income:

  • Local here means that the food item is produced within 50 miles from the consumer. Buying local puts twice as much money back into the local community than buying from big-box retailers and it is gentler towards the environment due to the lack of transportation resources needed.
  • Organic here means that the food item is produced using methods that don't involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides, chemical fertilizers, hormone injections, and over-pasteurization. Eating organic food is typically done because of health and environmental reasons (it is gentler towards the earth due to the lack of chemicals used). 
  • Artisanal here means that the food item is produced by non-industrialized methods, often handed down through generations but now is in danger of being lost - its taste is typically allowed to develop naturally and slowly, rather than curtailed for mass-production. Also, the food item is typically made fresh by hand in small batches that requires skills from a maker / master with a combination of science and art derived from experience. It typically does not contain industrialized preservatives. Eating artisanal food is typically done by foodies. A foodie is a gourmet, or a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.

The survey results will be used to:

  • Empower consumers by providing a better access and pricing to local, organic, and artisanal products
  • Empower local organic farmers and artisanal food producers by providing better access to customers and improving cash flow - so we can lower the price of local, organic products for everyone
  • Empower local like-minded community institutions in educating their constituents on this healthier way of life while simultaneously improving the institutions' sustainability

There is no right or wrong, just answer as you typically would. This survey might look long, but it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to complete. Those who participate will be entered into a raffle for a $50 Amazon gift card. Drawing will take place on July 31, 2015 and the winners will be notified by email, so don't forget to enter your email address. 

Thank you VERY much in helping me gather data to validate my assumptions. On behalf of the local economy, consumers, and mother earth, YOU are very appreciated!

Sincerely,

Francine Way

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