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Aligning Consumers’ and Farmers’ Behaviors Towards Socially Responsible Agriculture: A Canadian Empirical Study

  • Author / Creator
    Malzoni, Marina Mendonca de Almeida
  • In contrast with the growing public pressure for sustainable agriculture, most Canadian farmers have not prioritized adopting socially responsible production practices. In this context, empirical analysis of farmers’ responses to public demand has been crucial to assisting the agricultural sector to better cope with a more sensitive market. This thesis contributes to the literature by analyzing farmers’ behaviors towards social license (SL) to operate and policy mechanisms that comply with their major perceptions and goals. Using data from a survey comprising 400 farmers across Canada, we estimate the motivations behind farmers’ preferences for industry level investments. We find that SL is the least preferred option compared to alternate industry-level investments, which confirms that public and private net benefits are not aligned. On the other side of this balance, the growing disconnection between agri-food production and society reinforces the importance of research examining the motivations behind consumers’ purchase behaviors. In fact, evidence about the psychometric factors underlining the heterogeneity among citizen concerns versus consumers’ purchase intentions remains scarce. By employing a Structural Equation Model (SEM), this thesis also aimed to understand the direct and indirect effects between variables driving consumers’ attitudes towards specially labeled meat. Our findings suggest that information and engagement in social media positively impact individuals’ perceptions and concerns for farm animal welfare. Furthermore, individuals having an altruistic and anti-anthropocentric profile are also more oriented towards sustainable and ethical conduct as shoppers.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-m4a1-kk98
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.