Consumers’ Evaluation of Stockfree-Organic Agriculture—A Segmentation Approach
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17430
Recently, more and more research has been conducted on what sustainable nutrition could look like. Stockfree-organic agriculture is one possible approach but a relatively new and unstudied cultivation method. In addition to organic agriculture, it excludes any animal by-products during the whole cultivation process. Among the consumers of organic food are especially many vegetarians and vegans. To attract this target group, first farms in Europe have started to follow the stockfree-organic agriculture principles. As it is important to know the consumers’ point of view on new developments in agriculture at an early stage of the diffusion process, this study deals with consumers’ evaluation of stockfree-organic agriculture to draw conclusions about a possible market potential. This is especially important for stockfree-organic farmers, as well as for organic farmers who are considering converting their cultivation method, and for retailers who wonder whether it is worthwhile to offer these products. The data was collected in 2019 by means of an online survey. The sample consisted of 500 German respondents. Principal component and cluster analyses were used to identify consumer segments according to their attitudes towards the acceptance, advantages, and disadvantages of stockfree-organic agriculture. Additionally, the different segments were compared with each other according to various attitudes and eating behaviours. Overall, animal welfare considerations and environmental aspects were of particular importance to consumers. Animal usage was clearly rejected by one segment, which contained 24% of the sample. Nearly all vegetarians and all vegans supported stockfree-organic agriculture, whereas heavy meat consumers tended to refuse the support of stockfree-organic agriculture. The supporting group valuing high animal welfare and health concerns was much larger than the current status of this niche segment would suggest. This could be a major challenge for the agricultural sector in the long term, but could also include opportunities for greater sustainability.
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