Consumers' willingness-to-pay for organic conversion-grade food: Evidence from five EU countries
In recent years, in overall value, the EU has become a net importer of organic food to supply increasing demand. Financial support for farmers during the conversion period has been made to help expand organic production as this was seen as a barrier to conversion. Meanwhile, farmers have been marketing products produced in this conversion period and labelled as such, the extent to which is described here for the UK, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland and Italy. Consumers' attitudes towards, and willingness-to-pay for, conversion-grade food in these countries is examined. It was found that consumers would be prepared to pay a premium for conversion-grade produce of around half the premium for organic produce with vegetables attracting a higher premium than meat. Finally, the potential of policies for marketing conversion-grade products to encourage more conversion is examined, together with barriers to achieving this. It is concluded that barriers to marketing such products, particularly from retailers, will be formidable. Thus, alternative policies are suggested.
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