Willingness to Pay for Organic Foods: A Comparison between Survey Data and Panel Data from Denmark
We present a project aiming at estimating the willingness to pay for organic foods through panel data and a survey. The panel data is based on weekly reporting of household purchases by 2000 Danish households with information on their demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Detailed information on organic foods exist from 1997. A questionnaire asking consumers to distinguish and rank various food attributes will be sent out to all households in the sample in June 2002. For survey purposes, organic foods are defined as products carrying the Danish state label guaranteeing public control and certification of organic production. The food product attributes include environmental concerns, animal welfare, and food safety (health concerns). Here we present the results from the pilot study sent out in 2001 to 400 randomly chosen households, representatively distributed on geographical regions however. Among the results we note that the order of valued attributes do not differ across organic product types and that avoidance of chemicals is the highest valued attribute. We also present some preliminary estimations on purchase data in order to compare the contingent valuation results with observed willingness to pay. Both valuation methods entail uncertainty, and a comparison may indicate the magnitude of this.
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