Credibility in crisis: Determining the availability and credibility of online food supply chain resources during the COVID-19 pandemic
Disruptions from COVID-19 forced agricultural business owners to navigate the uncertainty of market disruptions with limited information. As an effect, the quality of information available for agricultural businesses to adapt to changes was a concern. The purpose of this study was to determine the availability and credibility of resources for agricultural businesses to make informed decisions about food markets during COVID-19. Source credibility was the guiding framework to achieve the research objectives of 1) Describe resources available related to impacts of COVID-19 on the food supply chain, 2) Determine the credibility of available resources. A quantitative content and textual analyses were employed. Results revealed 401 terms used to describe resources (n = 779). Eleven of the top 36 terms were used over 100 times. These were: farmer, resources, farm, market, business, local, health, safe, supply, agriculture, and chain. The majority of resources (66%, f = 514) were mid-level credible sources (industry/business organization, online/print news source, nonprofit), and 32.2% (f = 251) were of the highest credibility (university scientists, USDA scientist, Extension). Implications of this work show an opportunity for university and Extension systems to publish resources and serve as credible sources related to this particular crisis.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Anissa M. Zagonel, Lauri Baker, Joelle Covarrubias, Angela Lindsey
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National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Grant numbers 2020-68006-33037