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Consumers’ Valuation of Farmers’ Varieties for Food System Diversity

Meier, Claudia and Oehen, Bernadette (2019) Consumers’ Valuation of Farmers’ Varieties for Food System Diversity. Sustainability, 11, p. 7134.

[thumbnail of meier-oehen-2019-sustainability-11-07134.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English

Document available online at: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/24/7134/pdf


To increase the diversity in the food system from seed to fork, participatory on‐farm breeding schemes have been proposed. For participatory on‐farm breeding schemes to be successful, consumers need to be willing to compensate farmers for their efforts in breeding and in diversifying their cultivation. Using vegetables as an example, we investigated whether consumers of four selected European countries liked the idea of having farmers breed their own varieties and whether they would be willing to pay a premium for farmers’ as compared to standard varieties in a supermarket setting. The data was collected in an online survey and a willingness to pay was elicited using a contingent valuation approach. After providing respondents with information about the problem (diversity loss), solution (on‐farm breeding), and the benefits of farmers’ varieties, consumers’ acceptance was very high and consumers were willing to pay a small premium. Our findings suggest that farmers’ varieties can be appealing to a wide range of consumers if the appropriate information is provided, as they not only address the increasing demand for more sustainable products but also for more food diversity and tasty products. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine consumer preferences for farmers’ varieties for food system diversity.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:farmers’ varieties, food system diversity, agrobiodiversity, participatory on‐farm breeding, willingness to pay, contingent valuation, price sensitivity meter, targeted information, Abacus, FiBL3512105
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Biodiversity > Functional agrobiodiversity
Deposited By: Oehen, Dipl. bot. Bernadette
ID Code:36953
Deposited On:16 Dec 2019 09:16
Last Modified:19 Mar 2021 10:26
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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