1 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
This paper presents the outcome of a pilot study on Dutch consumers' willingness-to-pay for fresh fish originating from production systems with different levels of ethical attributes, as estimated through the performance of experimental auctions. Fifteen Dutch citizens living in Noord-Holland and being regular consumers of fresh fish were selected to participate in this study. Two experimental sessions were held in December 2003. Information regarding the subjects, their knowledge about fish production systems and the perceived relevance of different ethical attributes was collected prior to the actual auction rounds. The ethical attributes assessed were selected based on the outcome of a previous collage and focus group study. The type of auction mechanism employed was the second-price, sealed bid auction. The results obtained indicate that Dutch consumers might be willing to pay more for ethical benefits to be introduced in fish production, namely for those perceived to be associated with food safety. Nevertheless, these findings also point out that consumers' may not always value the ethical attributes they consider relevant in a consistent manner, especially if these seem to contradict their beliefs regarding the different fish production systems.