2015 Spring - Will consumers stop agricultural technology?

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Farm Policy Journal: Vol 12 No 3 2015 Spring - Full Journal - Will consumers stop agricultural technology?

Australian Farm Institute (2015), Will consumers stop agricultural technology?, Farm Policy Journal: Vol. 12 No. 3, Spring, Surry Hills, Australia.
ISSN 1449–2210 (Print)
ISSN 1449–8812 (Web) 

$60.50


FPJ1203B - Arnot, C (2015), Building Trust When Science and Consumers Collide

FPJ1203B - Arnot, C (2015), Building Trust When Science and Consumers Collide, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 2015, pp. 1-9, Surry Hills, Australia.

Fortified by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on scientific consensus in food production. How can the food system connect with consumers who reject science? The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) 2014 consumer trust research provides a model for making complex and controversial technical information relevant and meaningful – particularly to mums, millennials and foodies – bringing balance to the conversation, while helping consumers make informed decisions about food and building trust in today’s food system.

Technological advances in food and agriculture have provided countless benefits to society, but more must be done. Increased technology and innovation are needed in food production if there is to be enough food for a planet of 9 billion people by mid-century. Finding better ways to support the informed public evaluation of technologies and the food production system is a challenge. The goal should not be to win a scientific or social argument, but to find more meaningful and relevant methods to introduce science in a way that encourages thoughtful consideration and informed decision-making. How technical and scientific information is introduced is key to supporting informed decision-making.

CFI’s peer-reviewed and published model for building trust in today’s food system shows ‘confidence’ (shared values) is three-to-five times more important than ‘competence’ (skills and technical expertise or science) in building consumer trust. In other words, an increasingly sceptical public doesn’t care how much experts know until they know how much they care. A clear theme in CFI’s latest survey results is that food system experts can make a difference when they choose to engage by first establishing shared values and then providing factual, technical information that is relevant and meaningful. After confidence has been established, people are more willing to consider technical information, or competence, in their decision-making process.

$12.10


FPJ1203C - Swift, M (2015), The Implications of Societal Risk Management on Agricultural Productivity

FPJ1203C - Swift, M (2015), The Implications of Societal Risk Management on Agricultural Productivity, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 2015, pp. 11-17, Surry Hills, Australia.

The scope for agricultural productivity gains is immense with technologies such as autonomous systems and biotechnology. However, there is a growing concern in modern society about the safety of the systems which underpin a modern lifestyle. The full potential of productivity enhancing tools is likely to be impeded by society, using risk management instruments such as the precautionary principle.

Not all productivity gains are planned, there needs to be room for trial and error, and serendipity. Innate problems in the food sector will not all be overcome through higher regulation. Regulators and activists need to fully understand the unintended consequences of their actions. The food supply chain needs to improve communication with its customers to highlight why innovations matter, how they help and how they work.

$12.10


FPJ1203D - van der Hoeven, D (2015), Food, Genetic Engineering and Public Opinion: Do Popular Concerns Matter?

FPJ1203D - van der Hoeven, D (2015), Food, Genetic Engineering and Public Opinion: Do Popular Concerns Matter?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 2015, pp. 19-23, Surry Hills, Australia.

Can scientists learn from listening to public reaction to the products they develop? and should they?

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FPJ1203E - Domonko, ES, McFadden, BR & Mullally, C (2015), Biotechnology Applications for Consumers in Developing Areas and Consumer Acceptance

FPJ1203E - Domonko, ES, McFadden, BR & Mullally, C (2015), Biotechnology Applications for Consumers in Developing Areas and Consumer Acceptance, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 2015, pp. 25-35, Surry Hills, Australia.

Malnutrition is the most common cause of death for young children and pregnant women in developing countries. Regions like sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia contain 98% of the world’s malnourished population. About 67% and 63% of the total population in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, respectively, reside in rural areas where agriculture is their main source of food and income. Adoption of biotechnology such as genetically engineered crops and transgenic livestock provides an alternative solution against malnutrition in these regions since most consumers are also producers of agricultural products. However, the potential positive impacts of biotechnology can be limited by public acceptance. Education coupled with a more relaxed regulation, in both developing areas and by trade partners, will help these technologies reach full potential.

$12.10


FPJ1203F - Woodhead, A et al. (2015), Review of Asian Consumer Attitudes Towards GM Food and Implications for Agricultural Technology Development in Australia

FPJ1203F - Woodhead, A, Sun, T,  Cotter, J & Maraseni, T (2015), Review of Asian Consumer Attitudes Towards GM Food and Implications for Agricultural Technology Development in Australia, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 2015, pp. 37-43, Surry Hills, Australia.

This paper highlights the dilemma challenging the future development of genetically modified (GM) crops in Australia: How do we define and manage the development of new agricultural technologies on the farm while taking into account Asian consumer purchasing preferences? Do we focus on brand Australia – clean, green and safe for wealthier Asian’s who will pay higher prices for Australian non-GM produce or do we develop GM crops and food products for poorer consumers?
Our review of the literature shows that while the less wealthy in Asian countries will purchase food based on best price, the rapidly increasing percentage of wealthier Asian consumers tend to be concerned about food safety and the healthy aspects of food. Chinese consumers in particular, are becoming increasingly discerning. Australia has been recognised by many around the world (including consumers in Asia) for its integrity and ability to produce high quality food products that are safe, clean and green. We conclude that Australia’s clean, green and safe brand has a market value, and needs to be included along with consumer purchasing behaviour when valuing technological advancements and GM food crops on Australian farms.

$12.10


FPJ1203G - Coleman, G et al. (2015), Public Attitudes Relevant to Livestock Animal Welfare Policy

FPJ1203G - Coleman, G et al. (2015), Public Attitudes Relevant to Livestock Animal Welfare Policy, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 2015, pp. 45-57, Surry Hills, Australia.

Rising concerns for animal welfare standards from consumers have started to change the way we produce and purchase meat products. Engaging in public forums has become a popular way to express individual and community views on animal welfare, regardless of whether it is in support of, or in opposition to various aspects of livestock farming. These behaviours and the public opinions driving them can have a considerable influence on how governments either react to publicised ‘animal welfare events’ or regulate contentious management practices. Furthermore, community concerns and behaviours also impact on how governments react to animal welfare events and more broadly on the livestock industry’s social licence to practice. Animal welfare issues together with issues relating to climate change, water scarcity, and declining biodiversity all threaten farmers’ social licence to farm. This paper highlights the distrust in the community about management of farm animals, and suggests the need for appropriate interventions and monitoring processes to be developed. On the other hand, the paper illustrates the mismatch between the community’s perceived and actual knowledge of livestock practices.

$12.10


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