Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in product attributes relating to sustainability. Consumers of whitefish mainly demonstrate an interest in environmental sustainability, since they are paying 10%-14% more for whitefish that is labelled as originating from sustainably managed fish stocks. However, studies have shown that consumers generally prefer improved social sustainability over improved environmental sustainability. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate consumer interest in social sustainability attributes of whitefish from the northeast Atlantic. The method used is choice modelling, a method to determine preferences for several product attributes based on consumer choices. The selected attributes are worker safety, product quality, fish welfare, local employment and approach to overfishing. Inclusion of the latter environmental sustainability attribute enabled a comparison of preferences for social sustainability in relation to preferences for environmental sustainability. A survey was developed that consisted of five choice sets in which each attribute was compared to one other attribute, and five choice sets in which three attributes were compared to two other attributes. This survey was completed by 457 respondents. The conditional logit model that was fitted to the data showed that people have the strongest preference for an improved approach to overfishing, followed by improved fish welfare, improved product quality, improved worker safety and improved local employment. This result indicates that people prefer environmental sustainability over social sustainability in the context of whitefish from the northeast Atlantic. Furthermore, this result indicates that in this context, people prefer social sustainability attributes relating to animals over social sustainability attributes relating to the product or to other people. However, a mixed logit model that was fitted to the data indicates that there is choice heterogeneity among respondents that cannot be explained from attribute preferences. Therefore, further analyses will focus on exploring explanatory variables such as concern, trust and values.
|Title of host publication||Book of abstracts WIAS Science Day 2016|
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Feb 2016|
|Event||WIAS Science Day 2016 - Wageningen, Netherlands|
Duration: 2 Feb 2016 → 2 Feb 2016
|Conference||WIAS Science Day 2016|
|Period||2/02/16 → 2/02/16|