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Fairness to dairy cows or fairness to farmers: What counts more in the preferences of conventional milk buyers for ethical attributes of milk?

Markova-Nenova, Nonka and Wätzold, Frank (2017): Fairness to dairy cows or fairness to farmers: What counts more in the preferences of conventional milk buyers for ethical attributes of milk?

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Abstract

We investigate the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of German conventional milk buyers for ethical attributes of milk production through a choice experiment. Respondents have the highest WTP for animal welfare – free-stall plus summer pasture – followed by biodiversity conservation, support for small, below-average-income farms, and regional milk production. Respondents also have a positive WTP to support all farms but only in combination with regional production. We further find a positive WTP to support small farms in combination with tethering. This implies animal-welfare concerns are somewhat counterbalanced by fairness aspects. Our insights may support developing labels for ethical aspects of milk production.

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