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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 940: XXVIII International Horticultural Congress on Science and Horticulture for People (IHC2010): International Symposium on the Challenge for a Sustainable Production, Protection and Consumption of Mediterranean Fruits and Nuts

CONSUMERS' WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR REDUCED PESTICIDE USE IN THE PRODUCTION OF FRESH AND PROCESSED APPLES

Authors:   P. Combris, E. Giraud-Héraud, P. Bazoche, C. Hannus, A.S. Pinto, M. Berjano, R. Maia
Keywords:   willingness to pay, pesticides, experimental markets, BDM mechanism, apples
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.940.61
Abstract:
Nowadays consumers become more aware of pesticide risk problems and changes are recorded in consumer behaviour because of food safety or environmental (“sustainability”) considerations, or both. The individual consumer faces a trade-off between the utility derived from tastes and characteristics of a product, the utility of behaving “green” and the utility of healthy dieting. In this work we used experimental markets to measure the consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for apples and apple juice produced with reduced pesticide use. In order to see the impact of different information about pesticide use, different apple types with different levels of pesticides were tested: Regular apples, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) apples and Organic apples. To know if the potential diversity in consumer behaviour was depending on geographical location, experimental participants were randomly recruited from the general population in Portugal and France. The same experimental design was applied in these two countries to 207 consumers of apples and apple juice. The Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) auction mechanism was used and different apples were sold under different information conditions in a random-price sale.
We show that there was a consumer WTP for reduction in pesticide use (a premium for product with specific signal) and that specific information on pesticide use increases this WTP for organic product but not for IPM products. However, the most important result is that the specific information decreases the WTP for the regular product. Then it seems more rigorous to treat the results in terms of “premium against the regular product”, anticipating the loss of market share for the regular product. After showing that consumers’ premium for pesticide reduction is not independent from the product’s sensory attributes, we give the quantitative results for the consumers WTP for a pesticide reduction.

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