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EMAC 2022 Annual

Stakeholder Valuation of Local Foods on Social Media: A Canadian Study Using Twitter

Published: May 24, 2022


Marilyne Chicoine, University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM); Francine Rodier, ESG UQAM; Fabien Durif, University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM); R. Sandra Schillo, University of Ottawa; Laurette Dube, McGill University


The consumption of local food has experienced an unprecedented craze in the pandemic context. However, communication about local food seems inconsistent. This research aims to identify and evaluate the “fit” or the “gap” of the different local food’ meanings of Canadian agri-food stakeholders through data mining of one of their communication media: Twitter. Using over 1,300 Twitter accounts from Canadian agri-food companies and a popular hashtag, we analyze a sample of tweets by using a local food' keyword dictionary based on the concept of proximity. Term frequency and multivariate analysis of variance of 16,585 tweets about local food show significant differences in communications. This study shows the interest of using the concept of proximity to better define and understand the valuation of local food products. In addition, it offers a methodology capable of distinguishing the nuances of meaning of the locality of products using natural data that is accessible via social media.