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The demand for organic foods in the South of Italy: A discrete choice model

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  • Gracia, Azucena
  • de Magistris, Tiziana

Abstract

This paper analyses organic food consumer's demand that can help advising on implementing organic food policies at European level or, for a particular European country. In particular, it investigates the main factors explaining organic food demand in the South of Italy. Following the Lancaster consumer's demand theory we assume that consumer's utility depends on product characteristics instead of the product itself. Thus, consumers will choose the product (organic versus conventional) that possesses the combination of attributes that maximises its utility. Consumer's choice for organic foods is analysed within the random utility discrete choice model and a bivariate probit model has been specified. The data were collected through a questionnaire conducted in the Italian region of Campania (Naples) in 2003. Findings indicate that economic factors are still factors limiting the growth of organic demand in Europe. Moreover, the consumers' perceived benefits of organic food (environmental and health) are factors promoting organic food demand. In addition, greater information on organic food products is crucial to expand its demand in the South of Italy because this information will increase the consumer's organic knowledge. Then, higher organic knowledge will increase the probability to buy organic foods and, to a larger extent, the level of consumption among existing consumers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 33 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 386-396

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:5:p:386-396

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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  1. Gary D. Thompson, 1998. "Consumer Demand for Organic Foods: What We Know and What We Need to Know," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1113-1118.
  2. Onyango, Benjamin M. & Hallman, William K. & Bellows, Anne, 2006. "Purchasing Organic Food in U.S. Food Systems: A Study of Attitudes and Practice," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21060, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Huang, Chung L, 1996. "Consumer Preferences and Attitudes towards Organically Grown Produce," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 331-42.
  4. Jeffrey R. Blend & Eileen O. van Ravenswaay, 1999. "Measuring Consumer Demand for Ecolabeled Apples," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1072-1077.
  5. Zanoli, Raffaele & Naspetti, Simona, 2002. "Consumer motivations in the purchase of organic food. A means-end approach," MPRA Paper 32712, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Caswell, Julie A., 1998. "How Labeling Of Safety And Process Attributes Affects Markets For Food," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 27(2), October.
  7. McFadden, Daniel L., 2000. "Economic Choices," Nobel Prize in Economics documents, Nobel Prize Committee 2000-6, Nobel Prize Committee.
  8. Peter C. Verhoef, 2005. "Explaining purchases of organic meat by Dutch consumers," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 245-267, June.
  9. Loureiro, Maria L. & McCluskey, Jill J. & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2001. "Assessing Consumer Preferences For Organic, Eco-Labeled, And Regular Apples," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
  10. Cathy R. Wessells & Robert J. Johnston & Holger Donath, 1999. "Assessing Consumer Preferences for Ecolabeled Seafood: The Influence of Species, Certifier, and Household Attributes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1084-1089.
  11. Gary D. Thompson & Julia Kidwell, 1998. "Explaining the Choice of Organic Produce: Cosmetic Defects, Prices, and Consumer Preferences," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 277-287.
  12. Boccaletti, Stefano & Nardella, Michele, 2000. "Consumer Willingness To Pay For Pesticide-Free Fresh Fruit And Vegetables In Italy," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 3(03).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Caputo, Vincenzina & Aprile, Maria Carmela & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2011. "Consumers’ Valuation for European food quality labels: Importance of Label Information Provision," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland, European Association of Agricultural Economists 114324, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Yu, Xiaohua & Gao, Zhifeng & Zeng, Yinchu, 2014. "Willingness to pay for the “Green Food” in China," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 80-87.
  3. Sporleder, Eva M. & Kayser, Maike & Friedrich, Nina & Theuvsen, Ludwig, 2014. "Consumer Preferences for Sustainably Produced Bananas: A Discrete Choice Experiment," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 17(1).
  4. Vasiliki Fourmouzi & Margarita Genius & Peter Midmore, 2012. "The Demand for Organic and Conventional Produce in London, UK: A System Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 677-693, 09.
  5. Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2009. "Determinants of pro-environmental consumption: The role of reference groups and routine behavior," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 166-176, November.
  6. Koistinen, Laura & Pouta, Eija & Heikkila, Jaakko & Forsman-Hugg, Sari & Kotro, Jaana & Makela, Jarmo & Niva, M., 2011. "Impact of meat type, methods of production, fat content, price and carbon footprint information on meat choice," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland, European Association of Agricultural Economists 114710, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Chang, Jae Bong & Lusk, Jayson L., 2009. "Fairness and food choice," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 483-491, December.
  8. Grebitus, Carola & Dumortier, Jerome, 2013. "How much of the error term is explained by psychometric variables? The example of organic produce demand," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 150193, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  9. Vermeulen, Hester & Bienabe, Estelle, 2010. "The quality turn in South Africa: insights from a comprehensive investigation into the food quality behaviours, perceptions and knowledge of South African consumers with a focus on middle and upper so," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Afri 96194, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).

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