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

  • Gracia, Azucena
  • de Magistris, Tiziana

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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCB-4RTTM08-1/2/24c250e1b4f4f57e547b9fc737088421
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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  1. Scarpa, Riccardo & Spalatro, Fiorenza & Canavari, Maurizio, 2003. "Investigating Preferences For Environment Friendly Production Practices: Taste Segments For Organic And Integrated Crop Management In Italian Households," Working Papers 14467, University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
  2. 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, vol. 81(5), pages 1084-1089.
  3. 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).
  4. 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, vol. 80(2), pages 277-287.
  5. 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).
  6. Jeffrey R. Blend & Eileen O. van Ravenswaay, 1999. "Measuring Consumer Demand for Ecolabeled Apples," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1072-1077.
  7. 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.
  8. 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, vol. 80(5), pages 1113-1118.
  9. 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.
  10. Daniel McFadden, 2001. "Economic Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 351-378, June.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Durham, Catherine A. & Andrade, Diego, 2005. "Health vs. Environmental Motivation in Organic Preferences and Purchases," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19221, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  14. 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.
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