Maryam Hashemi

Role: HQP Scholar

Degree: PhD

Project: Antecedents and outcomes of organic food consumers’ experience with Ontario online food retailing

Department: School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management (HFTM) (Lang)

What inspired you to pursue your current degree? 

I choose to pursue the Food & Agribusiness Management route because I am deeply rooted in agriculture. I can combine my training in the Ph.D. program with my previous experience in the company where I have worked for the last few years. This lets me become familiar with new ideas and make an innovative model to support food businesses to identify possible opportunities to satisfy their customers and assist in the development of their business relationships.

What about your research area excites you? 

I find that we should do more in the area of organic marketing in different channels such as Web shopping that can fallow by positive impacts on the environment. By doing more research on organic food customer behaviour, we can help farmers and food manufacturers with new ways of marketing and helping society by decreasing environmental hazards. It is exciting for me because I can work towards socially responsible and innovative models for sustainable businesses and a prosperous society.

What challenges do you find in your research, and how do you try to overcome them? 

One of the challenges that I will face is that the costs of environmental compliance are high and increasing public trust, particularly in online retailing environments where there is no physical point of sale. In my project, I will create marketing strategies that highlight the sustainability and quality implications of products and focus on basic changes in products, services, and business strategies that offer opportunities financially as well as ecologically.

How would you describe your research and the implications of your project? 

Customers’ past purchasing experiences in-store influences future online behaviour, and there are several antecedents that will influence customers` purchasing behaviour and intention to buy. Hence, I plan to study the factors that impact Ontario’s organic food purchasing in online retailing environments. This study will have qualitative and qualitative data collections and subsequent modelling of data.

What are three of your favourite activities outside the lab? 

I enjoy doing yoga early in the morning, and I enjoy socializing, going out for a cup of coffee, or for meeting friends.

What is one important thing you have learned during the pandemic?

Life is a short essay; take everything easy.