Date of Graduation

8-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Michael Popp

Committee Member

Eric Wailes

Second Committee Member

Wolfgang Bokelmann

Abstract

Over the past several years, there has been growing attention concerning global warming/climate change and how humans are contributors. It is known that agricultural production is a main contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and the livestock sector is particularly significant because it is quoted as having between 3 and 18% of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent pending different assumptions. Due to this, carbon footprint labeling has been described as a potential tool to inform consumers about greenhouse gases associated with food products and assist them with the necessary information to purchase products that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently TESCO, a British grocery chain, prints carbon footprint labels on many of their products and they are striving for all of their products to display the label in the foreseeable future. Research has also been done in supermarkets throughout the UK showing there is an interest/demand for carbon labels in that country. Our main goal with this research was to analyze if a carbon label would modify milk consumer behavior for University of Arkansas faculty, staff and students. In particular would consumers be willing to pay for this information, would it affect how much milk they drink, what they pay for milk and if they would switch from organic to conventional milk because of a carbon footprint label. While the sample of respondents was more highly educated and younger than representative of the US or Arkansas, respondents did positively value the label information, would pay extra for lower carbon footprint milk and nearly half of the "organic" milk purchasers would switch to conventional milk for a more favorable carbon footprint.

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