‘Citizens vs. Consumers: 0 - 1’: Is Consumption Behaviour Congruent with Citizens’ Attitudes towards Sustainable Pork Production?
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This chapter describes the results of a quantitative survey carried out with the
aim to examine whether peoples’ role as citizens (i.e. attitudes towards sustainable pig
production systems) impacts on their role as consumers (i.e. actual consumption of pork
products). A conjoint experiment was implemented in order to investigate consumers’
attitudes towards pig production systems based on a number of pig farming
characteristics. Based on the results of conjoint analysis, cluster analysis was
implemented in order to identify consumer segments with varying preference towards
more or less sustainable pig farming types. Respondents’ socio-demographic profile,
wider attitudes towards various aspects related to sustainability, technology and food
production, as well as consumption frequency of various pork products were also used
to develop the profile of the segments. Results of the conjoint experiment showed that
consumers assigned more importance to animal and environmental well-being as
criteria to discriminate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ production systems; however, their
general attitudes towards issues like environmental protection, animal welfare,
technological progress or industrial food production were only moderately strong.
Moreover, results of cluster analysis pointed towards the existence of certain small,
albeit clearly-cut clusters, which paid attention to specific attributes of more sustainable
pig farming and consumed slightly less frequently selected meat product types.
Nevertheless, the large majority of participants were classified into clusters of
indifferent or ambiguous consumers, with very ‘weak’ attitudinal profiles and very high
consumption frequency of a large variety of pork products. In conclusion, wider
attitudes towards environment and nature, animal welfare and the need for an
environment-friendly food production were indeed related to citizens’ specific attitudes
towards pig farming at the cluster level. However, people’s positive attitudes towards
sustainable farming did not differentiate significantly their pork consumption behaviour
from the vast majority of the people holding weak sustainability-related attitudes.
Sustainability, pork, food, citizen, consumer, conjoint analysis,
clusters, Greece, survey, pig production systems, pig farming, sustainable farming, animal well-being, environmental well-being, animal welfare, industrial
food production, consumption behavior, pork consumption behavior, consumer
sustainability, market segmentation.
MAPP Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus University, Bartholins Alle 10, DK-8000, Aarhus C, Denmark.