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What Happens When Food Marketers Require Restrictive Farming Practices?

  • Saitone, Tina L.
  • Sexton, Richard J.
  • Sumner, Daniel A.

The dimensions that define a food product have expanded rapidly to include characteristics of the production process, marketing arrangements, and implications that production and consumption of the product have for the environment. Some market intermediaries have responded by requiring that their suppliers abide by restrictive production practices. We examine the economic effects of such restrictions and apply this analysis to limitations on the use of antibiotics in U.S. pork production. Results from conceptual and simulation analyses show that, in the absence of demand growth, less pork is sold due to higher costs in the restricted segment, and both pork consumers (on average) and producers are harmed. Demand growth of between 6–11% from adding new consumers who will consume the restricted (antibiotic-free) product but not the conventional product is needed to return consumer surplus to the level in the base case, and between 2–4% demand growth was required to return producer surplus to base. When restricted and conventional products are modeled using a vertical differentiation framework, results depend importantly on the ease with which consumers can switch to a seller who offers their desired product type. Significant distributional impacts among consumers are present when switching costs are prohibitive.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/151268
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 151268.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:151268
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  1. Hayes, Dermot J. & Jensen, Helen H., 2003. "Lessons from the Danish Ban on Feed-Grade Antibiotics," Staff General Research Papers 11284, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Buhr, Brian L., 2010. "Economic impact of transitioning from gestation stalls to group pen housing in the U.S. pork industry," Staff Papers 61604, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
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  4. Hayes, Dermot J. & Jensen, Helen H. & Backstrom, Lennart & Fabiosa, Jacinto F., 2001. "Economic Impact Of A Ban On The Use Of Over The Counter Antibiotics In U.S. Swine Rations," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 4(01).
  5. Brorsen, B. Wade & Lehenbauer, Terry & Ji, Dasheng & Connor, Joseph, 2002. "Economic Impacts Of Banning Subtherapeutic Use Of Antibiotics In Swine Production," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(03), December.
  6. Chang, Jae Bong & Lusk, Jayson L. & Norwood, F. Bailey, 2010. "The Price of Happy Hens: A Hedonic Analysis of Retail Egg Prices," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(3), December.
  7. Tonsor, Glynn T. & Olynk, Nicole & Wolf, Christopher, 2009. "Consumer Preferences for Animal Welfare Attributes: The Case of Gestation Crates," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(03), pages 713-730, December.
  8. Sumner, Daniel A. & Matthews, William A. & Thurman, Walter N. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Gow, Harnish & Norwood, Bailey, 2010. "Economic and Market Issues on the Sustainability of Egg Production in the United States: Analysis of Alternative Production Systems," Staff General Research Papers 31542, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Carolina Liljenstolpe, 2008. "Evaluating animal welfare with choice experiments: an application to Swedish pig production," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 67-84.
  10. Tonsor, Glynn T. & Wolf, Christopher A., 2011. "On mandatory labeling of animal welfare attributes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 430-437, June.
  11. Laura Mørch Andersen, 2011. "Animal Welfare and Eggs – Cheap Talk or Money on the Counter?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 565-584, 09.
  12. Chilton, Susan M. & Burgess, Diane & Hutchinson, W. George, 2006. "The relative value of farm animal welfare," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 353-363, September.
  13. Olynk, Nicole J. & Tonsor, Glynn T. & Wolf, Christopher A., 2010. "Consumer Willingness to Pay for Livestock Credence Attribute Claim Verification," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(2), August.
  14. Okrent, Abigail M. & Alston, Julian M., 2011. "Demand for Food in the United States: A Review of Literature, Evaluation of Previous Estimates, and Presentation of New Estimates of Demand," Working Papers 162515, Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics.
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