To better understand the success and the growing number of Short Food Supply Chains in Italy, this study investigates consumer motivations and behaviours with regard to these alternative agri-food networks through an extended model of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). In particular, the paper focuses on the role of consumer trust towards purchasing at short chains, as well as the role of consumer rural residence and fair-trade purchasing preference, in addition to common TPB variables. To this purpose, an online survey was conducted on a convenience sample of 260 consumers in Italy. Structural equation modelling confirmed the role of trust as a direct antecedent of consumer intention to purchase food at short chains, as well as the best-supported attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control in the standard TPB model. The investigation found that consumer rural residence and fair-trade purchasing habits, in addition to intention and perceived behavioural control, influenced the behaviour. This evidence is interesting in order to suggest further marketing strategies for farmers in the direction of more ethical and trust-related forms of consumption.
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