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[Journal:] Agricultural and Food Economics [ISSN:] 2193-7532 [Volume:] 3 [Publisher:] Springer [Place:] Heidelberg [Year:] 2015 [Pages:] 1-18
The main focus of this paper is to analyse the production and consumption for eco-innovative food in Brazil. The research can be divided in two parts: the first, focusing in the supply-side, aims to identify food companies' motivation to adopt eco-innovation, and the second, in the demand-side, to investigate consumer values and attitudes towards eco-innovation. In order to analyse the supply-side, an exploratory phase has been conducted with 13 in-depth interviews with firms and organizations that work with eco-innovative food, green certifications and green food associations. The analysis of the demand-side was carried out through an exploratory phase, with 42 interviews in green and organic fairs and street markets along with a Survey with 401 consumers in traditional Organic Street Markets in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The quantitative data from this stage was analysed with SPSS (univariate statistics). Results indicate that the companies' mission and strategy are important drivers for the adoption of eco-innovations in the food sector. Technology is an essential input for the supply side, and can act as an important driver to increase the supply of sustainable food, to reduce losses, and to improve environmental sustainability. The eco-innovative market has a great potential to grow and become more competitive, although some barriers still need to be transposed: clearer regulations, logistics, high quality manpower and production of more convenient products for consumers. Results from the analysis of consumers indicate the presence of egalitarian values, and positive attitudes towards environment and technological progress, as well as a positive attitude and intention to buy eco-innovative food. Additional findings points out towards a certain belief on behalf of Brazilian consumers that technology can be a determinant of relevant aspects of eco-innovative foods. This research is of particular academic value, by adding empirical evidence about the relationships that rule how values and general attitudes influence attitudes towards eco-innovative food in the Brazilian food consumption context. Managerial implications are related to the need for companies to remain competitive and profitable, and innovation and environmental sustainability can be used as an alternative to mitigate environmental risks derived from the company's activities.
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