Consumers’ valuation of national versus foreign varieties of tomatoes: results of a contingent valuation study in Portugal
The identification and characterization of consumers’ preferences for agricultural products may constitute a valuable tool for producers in identifying market niches for their current production and to plan activity choice for the future. Traditional varieties of fruits and vegetables have been subject to some scrutiny in this respect. However, but for a few studies, consumers’ preferences for tomatoes have rarely been studied. Using the contingent valuation methodology applied to a panel of six different varieties of tomatoes (three national varieties, and three foreign varieties), the present paper provides evidence concerning the most relevant determinants of consumers’ willingness to pay, controlling for place and mode of production of the tomatoes’ varieties. In addition, the study elicits consumers’ rating of these varieties with respect to appearance, taste, smell and texture. Based on our multivariate results, the estimated market price premium for national varieties of tomatoes is 35% relatively to foreign varieties.
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