Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems
Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems

Deliverable D6.4 Farmer and consumer attitudes to proposed production systems

Authors: 
Newcastle University, CREDA-UPC-IRTA, AFZ
Publication date: 
30 April 2019
Full title: 
Deliverable D6.4 Farmer and consumer attitudes to proposed production systems
Publishing information: 
Feed-a-Gene, April 2019
Abstract: 

Objectives

  1. To design and implement a questionnaire survey to explore consumer attitudes relevant to livestock management issues being explored in Feed-a-Gene;
  2. To use a choice experiment to investigate public preferences for enhanced welfare and environmental benefits associated with livestock production;
  3. To investigate consumer attitudes and preferences for a range of production attributes associated with the technologies explored in the project; and
  4. To investigate the attitudes of a small sample of farmers and farmer representatives in the UK and Spain, to the introduction, implementation and consequences of different aspects the novel management systems proposed in the project.

Rationale

A choice experiment approach was used to estimate values associated with selected externality attributes linked to livestock production. Choice experiments allowed us to test consumers’ willingness to trade-off changes in the price of a commodity (in this case eggs) against varying levels of the positive and negative externalities associated with different production methods. Samples of 700 consumers from the UK and 1047 in Spain participated in a questionnaire survey that incorporated a range of choice questions designed to investigate preferences and values for the welfare benefits associated with different production systems and the carbon footprint associated with production methods. While the study did not have the scope to cover consumer preferences across the EU, the choice of a northern and a southern European sample was designed to reflect some of the differences in consumer attitudes, environmental priorities and production systems found across the EU. In the UK, qualitative questions based around a Likert scale were used to explore consumer attitudes and preferences for a range of production attributes associated with the technologies explored in the project. Qualitative approaches were also be used to investigate the attitudes of a small sample of farmers and their representatives in the UK and Spain to the introduction and implementation of the proposed novel management systems associated with the project. This is important in terms of identifying potential barriers to the uptake of new technologies and to identify approaches (e.g. education and incentives) that may be used to improve their acceptability and uptake. Semi-structured interviews investigated these issues for producers.

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