Consumer Response to Integrated Pest Management and Organic Agriculture: An Econometric Analysis
While several studies have presented aggregate, descriptive illustrations of consumer response to IPM, the willingness-to-purchase and willingness-to-pay for IPM produce as a function of demographic characteristics has not received the exhaustive research attention that has focused on organic produce. The objective of this study was to empirically evaluate which demographic characteristics cause consumers to be more likely to purchase IPM grown produce. A hypothetical willingness-to-purchase model for IPM produce as well as willingness-to-pay models for both IPM and organic produce are presented. A non-hypothetical analysis also predicts consumers who strictly purchase only conventional produce. Income was found to be the most significant determinant of willingness-to-purchase IPM grown produce. Participants with higher annual incomes were more likely to express an interest in purchasing IPM produce and also appeared less likely to strictly purchase conventional produce. Those whose frequently purchase organic produce, those who visit farmers markets and those who live in suburban areas were all found to be more likely to purchase IPM grown produce. The results also indicate that females, those with higher annual incomes, younger individuals, and those who frequently purchase organic produce are all more likely to pay a premium for both IPM and organically grown produce. Overall, the results of this survey give insight into the likely consumer response to produce that is labeled as “IPM Grown.” However, before the average consumer exhibits the same level of interest in IPM as the sample in this study, some mechanism must be developed to educate the public about IPM.
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