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Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Recent New Zealand research on consumer and public responses to emerging food technologies.

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Presentation on theme: "Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Recent New Zealand research on consumer and public responses to emerging food technologies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Recent New Zealand research on consumer and public responses to emerging food technologies

2 Overview Aim Methods Annotated bibliography –Summary information How do the NZ public and consumers feel about emerging food technologies? How different is ‘consumer’ and ‘public’ decision- making? Market opportunities??

3 Aim ‘Stocktake’ of recent New Zealand research Identify key trends and themes Understand how key issues in the social context may influence public responses to future food technology developments Social/market intelligence Strategy

4 Methods Literature search –1999 – 2009 –Keyword search through range of research databases –Recommendations from advisory panel –Grey literature, thesis, articles etc included –Selected pre 1999 entries also included Annotated bibliography (138 entries)

5 Annotated bibliography 138 entries coded by type of publication, institution, type of study, method Topic/application index to follow Not definitive (as at Nov 09) –Ongoing stakeholder engagement will produce updated electronic resource

6 Royal Commission Publications by Year

7 Type of publication TypeN Journal54 Report51 Conference paper8 Magazine/opinion6 Book6 Book chapter7 Thesis6 Total138

8 Type of institution (authors) TypeN University81 CRI27 Government16 Private14 Total138

9 Type of study TypeN Public opinion55 Governance35 Consumer30 Māori13 Other (economics, industry) 5 Total138

10 Method of study TypeN Review55 Survey39 Choice experiment13 Interview/focus group 14 Multi-method11 Modelling3 Case study3 Total138

11 Key themes A rapidly advancing technological field, an increasingly sophisticated public, and an increasingly sophisticated debate. NZ and international markets/consumer responses are ‘volatile’, complex and difficult to anticipate. Interplay of social values and consumer responses.

12 How do the NZ public and consumers feel about emerging food technologies? Pre 1999 (polling studies) – low awareness, no strong aversion Royal Commission 2001 (90% IP submissions opposed) 2004 – AERU survey (Cook et al.) over 50% of respondents concerned or very concerned about biotech and use of GMO’s in agriculture 2005 – (Kaye-Blake et al.) consumer study found 41% household shoppers would not choose GE apples even if they were free Strong aversion to GM food, difficult to shift Early adoption of GE not ‘rational’ to N.Z.er’s

13 Public opinion Royal Commission (2001) – commercial crops – 24% strongly disapprove, 34% disapprove, 4% undecided, 31% just approve, 5% strongly approve Small et al. (2002) GE Food - 36% totally opposed, 52% conditionally support, 3% totally supportive Cook & Fairweather (2005) GM apples – 22% very unacceptable, 32% unacceptable, 23% undecided, 17% acceptable, 5% very acceptable Broad summary; Strongly opposed Opposed 50% Undecided

14 Some studies suggest … Slight shift over time showing an apparent growing middle ground Recent claims that ‘public opinion’ studies may overestimate public opposition More nuanced decision-making - ‘It depends’ – consideration of risks/benefits for a specific application

15 Unpacking ‘it depends’ Mainly drawn from ‘oppositional’ Could reflect ‘contingent priming’/framing around conditional idiom Strongly opposed Opposed 50% Undecided Strongly opposed 50% ‘it depends’

16 A growing middle ground? Most authors regard the evidence of an increasing middle ground rather cautiously, and emphasise the volatility of consumer opinion. Mix of ‘conditional factors’ and more ‘resilient’ anti-GE views Interlocking relationship between two sets of values –nature has an intrinsic value –‘post materialist’ value sets (strong notions of democracy, citizenship, anti-materialism and cynicism toward capitalism)

17 General patterns in social acceptability Greater support for: –Medical –Laboratory Less support for: –GM field crops –GM animals

18 Objections Interfering with nature Public and environmental safety Unknown consequences Women and Māori more likely to hold strong objections Māori objections –Treaty of Waitangi – rights to kaitiakitanga –sanctity of whakapapa extending to flora and fauna

19 Support Males, younger people, and high income groups Slightly higher positive views and ‘fascination’ for nanotech

20 Whose viewpoints have been studied? ‘Consumers’ - household shoppers, mothers, affluent ‘Public’ – scope expanding (initial surveys only professionals & teachers) Also dedicated studies with farmers, scientists, & Māori. Viewpoints of Pacific Island and other cultural groups under-explored –this project will include Maori & Pacific viewpoints (Ann Saolele)

21 Comparing ‘public’ and ‘consumer’ studies Public opinion Social values around acceptability Range of scenarios Typically surveys Focus groups, workshops ‘Citizenship & governance’ - impacts on others, long term costs/benefits Consumer Response to product Changes in product attributes or price Often hypothetical ‘Purchasing’ - impacts to self & family, immediate costs/benefits

22 Commentaries on consumer/public studies Public opinion surveys place respondents in the role of citizens, who make judgements from society’s point of view, whereas experimental auctions specifically reveal consumer reactions. (Noussair cited in Kassardjian et al. 2005) Consumer studies are hypothetical, attitude/intention does not translate to actual behaviour.

23 Have public opinion studies overestimated the level of opposition? Consumer choice experiment – actual purchase (Knight et al. 2005,2007) Conducted in 6 countries –Roadside stall ‘organic’, ‘spray-free GM’ or ‘conventional’ fruit (Queenstown, Otago) –At median price ‘organic’ received highest market share –With price discounting 60% N.Z.er’s purchased ‘spray-free GM’, one of highest BUT methodological questions ie. ‘spray-free’ or ‘GM’?

24 Market opportunities?? Two market ‘clusters’ 1.Lower income, respond to price discounting - implications for Māori 2.Higher income, will pay premium for functional foods that deliver real benefits - parents of younger children, people over 50 with health concerns, people with family disease history (Richards 2004) Paradoxically these groups (mothers, elderly, unwell) are also most likely to be concerned about GM food and food safety

25 Prerequisites for acceptance Clear labelling Trust/confidence in the producers and regulatory authorities to manage risks Implications for NZ ‘clean and green’ brand (-ve impacts on tourism) Co-existence of GM and non-GM

26 Implications for future food investment in NZ Clear benefits (ie. health) Laboratory work, rather than field release Medical, rather than agricultural or food crops Functional foods, biopharming? But underlying attitudes, values, risk perceptions still influential


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