Promoting local foods in small island states: examining the willingness-to-pay of consumers
This article in Food Policy journal examines the willingness-to-pay of consumers on small island states for locally produced and organic food products. To attain food security the successful production in agriculture is key and the authors argue that strategies that tackle agricultural development through the production and consumption of sustainable food products are necessary. The authors observed that when consumers were informed about pesticide use, they were more willing-to-pay higher prices for organic food products. In addition, consumers were more willing-to-pay for products from local origin than for imported products. This seems to be related to the fact that consumers feel that a product from local origin carries an implicit guarantee of product quality with it. The authors argue that to increase food security in small island states, a strategy to develop the local food sectors by increasing consumers’ awareness about local products with sustainable characteristics could be a solution. They used an experiment to assess the consumers willingness-to-pay for yams with sustainable characteristic in the Caribbean. The results showed that labeling significantly changes consumers’ valuation of the different yam profiles. They conclude that a labeling strategy could be improved when policy targets the development of the local food sector.