Testing for the best instrument to generate sustainable food consumption

The increase in the level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere in the last centuries, and the subsequent increase in temperature, has been a widely studied area in the last few decades. Climate change has become a key item on the political agenda due to concerns regarding the sustainability of current human consumption for future generations. Consumption of food and agricultural goods constitutes an important part of household based GHG emissions, and the relatively low costs associated with environmental improvements make it an interesting area of study to understand behavioural changes. Despite general agreement on the need to curb the amount of GHG emissions worldwide, little evidence exists regarding the best instruments policymakers can employ to stimulate changes toward more sustainable consumption. The present work explores which instruments are most effective in fostering change to more environmentally friendly food consumption. The instruments tested are CO2 labelling, GHG abatement subsidy and product-specific bans. We used a simulated online shopping trip in supermarkets in the Greater London area in the United Kingdom, where respondents shopped in four product categories: cola, milk, meat (chicken and beef), and butter/margarine. Consumer preferences reveal that, in the presence of these instruments, quantity instruments performed better than price incentives and labelling.


Publication year:
2011
In:
In: International Journal on Food System Dynamics 2, no 3(2011), p 237-252



 Record created 2016-06-15, last modified 2019-04-30

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