Southern vegetable buyers’ preferences for cherry tomatoes based on production practice and detailed information on location of production

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2021: $128,373.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2024
Grant Recipients: University of Georgia; Georgia Organics; Athens Land Trust; Georgia Farmers Market Association ; Augusta Locally Grown
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Vanessa Shonkwiler
University of Georgia
Dr. Julie Campbell
Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia
Dr. Cesar Escalante
University of Georgia
Labeling strategies are often discussed in the context of direct-to-consumers marketing for small family farms. Substantial research has been conducted in order to identify preferences for different labeling strategies. Some studies have also highlighted the substitution or complementarity effect that may occur across the different labels. Using a large choice experiment with 1820 respondents across six southern states, we assess buyers’ preferences for co-labeling strategies based on the association of a production practice and certification (USDA Organic and Certified Naturally Grown, CNG) and six different production locations (Local area to imported). We focus on pint baskets of cherry tomatoes since these are popular items among purchasers of fresh produce. Based on the results provided by a Bayesian Mixed Logit model, we derived the respondent-specific posterior distribution of the partworth associated with each production location and regressed each of those against demographic indicators. We find that most buyers substitute organic and CNG while a few would consistently choose the same production practice option. Our findings also underscore that price or an indication of origin predominantly guide nearly half of buyers’ choices. Additionally, we find that the premium for CNG is superior to the organic one. Lastly, older respondents and respondents with a higher degree of education value produce grown in and around “their area” over state and country origins.
Conference/Presentation Material
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Researchers
Ordering info:
[email protected]
University of Georgia
145 Cedar St
Athens, GA 30602-0001
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.