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Cattle breeding in Northern Australia: Revealing how consumers react to alternative technologies

Jo Pluske, Michael Burton, Dan Rigby and Phil Vercoe

Australasian Agribusiness Review, 2013, vol. 21, 15

Abstract: In Australia, Bos taurus cattle breeds produce high quality meat, superior in taste and tenderness characteristics. Nevertheless, these breeds do not thrive in the Northern Australian environment. Stem cell transplant technologies, that make use of adult stem cells harvested from a Bos Taurus bull and the subsequent allogeneic transplantation of testicular cells into a Bos indicus bull, could improve northern beef cattle breeding programs by facilitating crossbreeding via natural service. Focus groups were used in this study to explore consumer reaction to specific reproduction technologies and the implications for buying intentions. Findings from these focus groups were then used for development of choice experiment surveys. Survey results suggested that while some consumers indicated that they were not concerned about the specified stem cell technology being utilized in beef production, generally people were willing to pay to avoid eating steak that had been produced in this way. Moreover, it appears that they would pay more to avoid this steak when specific key words providing additional information about the technology (stem cells; radiotherapy) were used to describe the steak being valued. Even so, the wording of the technology description did not have a significant effect on this value. The relatively large discount values required by respondents to purchase steaks produced using stem cell technology may be slightly lower depending on whether consumers have a genuine aversion to the use of artificial insemination. It is beyond the scope of this study to explore the stability of preference estimates from a discrete choice experiment but from a theoretical perspective, it would be worthwhile.

Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Livestock Production/Industries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.206164

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