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Consumer Response to Climate Adaptation Strategies in the Food Sector: An Australian Scenario

Ariyawardana, Anoma, Lim-Camacho, Lilly, Crimp, Steven, Wellington, Michael, Somogyi, Simon
Ecological economics 2018 v.154 pp. 383-393
business enterprises, climate, climate change, consumer attitudes, food industry, mangoes, potato chips, purchasing, surveys, willingness to pay, wines, Australia
The viability of climate adaptation strategies adopted by agrifood companies rely heavily on how well consumers understand, accept and/or select commodities and their willingness to bare some of the cost of adaptation. To understand this issue in more detail, a survey was undertaken of 1532 Australian consumers to investigate how they respond to adaptation strategies in terms of acceptance and willingness to pay. The survey results contained in this paper focus on three product categories – mango, potato chips and wine. The survey revealed that when faced with climate-adapted mango, potato chips or wine products, respondents were most likely to substitute or purchase less often rather than purchasing a more expensive ‘adapted’ product or a cheaper ‘non-adapted’ product. Across the three commodities, the level of acceptance also varied little with socio-demographic factors and the respondent's perceptions of climate change. The study highlights the importance of communicating the climate adaptation initiatives of agrifood companies and the challenges faced by these companies in raising the awareness associated with climate-adapted product.