Are Consumers Willing to Pay for Organic When the Food is Already Local?

The emergence of community supported agriculture (CSA) farms has provided a new way for small farms to remain competitive while engaging their local community through direct marketing. In this study, we report on some of the first revealed preference valuation of CSA attributes, including the willingness to pay for competing organic certification programs. Using data on the prices and attributes of 188 CSA farms spanning Ohio and Pennsylvania we estimate willingness to pay measures from both hedonic and nearest-neighbor matching methods. Results from a semi-log hedonic reveal a willingness to pay of approximately 9% for organic branding compared to natural, which translates into an additional $48 per summer season share. We also find a statistically significant premium associated with longer seasons, delivery, and the provision of additional products beyond fruits and vegetables. In contrast we find no premium associated with competing certification programs.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q13; Q51

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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