- Animals: goats, sheep
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, agricultural finance, market study
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities
A three year applied economics study in Texas, Virginia and Georgia determined that many consumers are willing to pay a 27-45% premium for locally produced, certified organic, environmentally friendly, or “all natural” animal fiber products. While organic labeling still captures the greatest premium for fiber products (45%), once consumers were provided with a definition for the alternative labels, the amount consumers were willing to pay increased premiums for products labeled as eco-friendly (39%), all natural (39%) and sustainable (27%) over products labeled as conventional. The results have been used to develop marketing plans for Southern animal fiber producers that will help them obtain maximum benefit from additional branding of products made from locally grown, sustainable animal fiber.
1. Estimate the value consumers place on apparel products made from locally grown fibers and fibers grown using sustainable production methods. 2. Investigate the effects of labeling on premiums for Southern fiber products. 3. Identify and characterize the attitudes and motivations of market segments of consumers willing to pay premiums for products produced from sustainable, locally grown animal fiber. 4. Develop and communicate pricing, labeling, and marketing strategies to Southern animal fiber producers using sustainable production methods.