PROVIDING consumers with positive information highlighting the benefits of new food production technologies could increase their willingness to pay for the product, according to information from the University of Alberta.
University researchers recently published the results of a study summarizing experiments they conducted with Edmonton, Alb., residents estimating their willingness to pay (WTP) for vacuum-packaged beef steaks.
"This study is one of many efforts researchers have made over time to further understand how the public may react to new food technologies," said Glynn Tonsor, an agricultural economist at Kansas State University and author of the "Connecting Livestock Producers with Economic Research" (CLPER) series.
The general conclusions and implications of the study are in line with what Tonsor called the important distinction between the feasibility of technology "working properly" and the likely industry adoption and public acceptance of that technology.
"Going forward, public acceptance is going to play a larger and larger role in research and development efforts of new food production, processing and marketing technologies," he said. "Stakeholders throughout the entire meat and livestock industry would be well served by appreciating this, as well as how many current controversial technologies discussions (e.g., use of beta-agonists, animal housing approaches, antibiotics, growth hormones, etc.) can be better understood when viewed from this perception/acceptance vantage point."
CLPER is a project of the Kansas State agricultural economics department, and the full version of the most recent edition is available online at www.Feedstuffs.com.