From boutique to mainstream: Upscaling wildlife-friendly farming through consumer premiums

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Wildlife-friendly produce shows promise in addressing the disconnect between consumers' choices and the loss of biodiversity from agriculture. However, the scope of programs and their contribution to conservation remain limited. An improved understanding of specific markets, combined with auspicious scenarios, could address this. In Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, rice fields support the largest known breeding population of the Australasian bittern, a globally endangered waterbird. We surveyed 1478 Australian consumers about their values for “bittern-friendly” rice. To help support successful bittern breeding, consumers' mean willingness-to-pay for a 1-kg product, normally $3.00, was $4.12—a premium of 37%—while the inferred valuation for their nearest neighbor was $3.79, a 26% premium. In a choice experiment, rice directly sourced from bittern-friendly rice growers attracted the highest premium, approaching 200%, but conventional rice with indirect support for bittern-friendly growers was also highly valued. Consumers valued endorsement and certification labels from all organizations more than individual ones, and would pay additional premiums for reduced pesticide use or organic products. Feasibility of broad-scale, consumer-funded incentive programs is emphasized by an engaging narrative and a supportive, cohesive rice industry. Similar opportunities likely exist where consumers can be central to endangered species conservation, expanding wildlife-friendly farming coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12730
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalConservation Science and Practice
Volume4
Issue number7
Early online date20 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'From boutique to mainstream: Upscaling wildlife-friendly farming through consumer premiums'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this