Date of Completion
Stephen Swallow, John Volin
Field of Study
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Master of Science
In December of 2010, the Connecticut Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection agreed to extend the Connecticut Grown label associated with agricultural products to forest products traceable to Connecticut sources. 85 percent of the forests in Connecticut are privately owned, which has led to the preliminary promotion of the label to be connected to small local enterprise. Furthermore, wood must be harvested following environmental guidelines set by the DEEP.
The success of this program hinges on consumer interest in a locally grown label and how it relates to the wood products being purchased. Little research has been done on consumer perceptions of local origin outside of food products. This gives rise to several relevant questions: Which aspects of this “Connecticut Grown” label add value to wood products? What are the opinions and attitudes of wood purchasing consumers and how do they relate to preferences for labeled products? What type of consumers should this label be marketed towards, and which aspects motivate their interest?
To elicit consumer preferences for various aspects of the Connecticut Grown label, 6 choice experiments were designed for three different products (a small bundle of firewood, a cord of firewood, and hardwood flooring) for a total of 18 choice experiments. To examine how consumer preferences relate to one another, both a multinomial logit and a latent class model are estimated, revealing purchase preferences as well as which attributes drive those preferences.
If rural enterprises can create value then forestlands may be less at-risk to development. This creates public benefits, including decreased transportation and energy use and increased environmental stewardship. The results of this research will help the state of Connecticut with promotion and implementation of Connecticut Grown labels by identifying who is likely to purchase Connecticut Grown products and the factors that are important in their decisions.
Wright, Nicholas R., "Connecticut Grown Forest Products: An Assessment of Consumer Willingness to Pay" (2013). Master's Theses. 494.