Producer and Business Surveys

Locations: Australia. Location Detail: Casey and Victoria. Topics: Developing a Food Hub. Resource Type: Tool.

For the Food Hub in Casey project, we attempted to follow up the semi-structured interviews with more detailed information gathered through an online survey. The questionaires for the surveys are attached below.

We were aiming to gather approx. 30 responses to each of these surveys, to engage a broader group of farmers and local businesses than we were able to interview. But to no avail – the online survey proved to be a very unsuccessful method for engaging people in an early stage of the project. We received a total of four complete farmer surveys (of 13 partial) and two completed business surveys (of 4 partial).

The survey outlines are attached above in case they are of use to others, but we wouldn’t recommend attempting to gather this kind of information in this manner! These were translated into survey monkey questionnaires and circulated through a wide range of networks in the area.

This experience emphasised the importance of:

  • building relationships and trust, and starting to have more detailed discussions with people once they are already engaged and keen to see something happening
  • being inclusive but also recognising that you can’t hear from everyone (who’s interested) immediately. We have spoken to a lot of people – both through interviews and informally – and continue to keep the door open for anyone who wants to participate. But a detailed survey is too high a ‘barrier to entry’ to the project .
  • There’s no substitute for getting out there and talking to as many people as you can!!