Spatial discounting in food products from high natural value agroecosystems

Keywords: Consumers’ preferences, Ecosystem services, Choice experiments, Dehesa, Agroforestry system, Commodification, Iberian dry-cured ham


Aim of study: To test the hypothesis that consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for traditional food products expresses their willingness to conserve the bundle of ecosystem services (ES) provided by the territories of origin and that the intensity of these preferences is subject to spatial discounting.

Area of study: We used Iberian dry-cured ham as a case study. This is a traditional and highly appreciated product characteristically produced in the Dehesa agroforestry system (southern Iberian Peninsula), an agricultural system characterized by high levels of ES provision.

Material and methods: The analysis relies on a discrete choice experiment using some recently developed spatial indexes that go beyond traditional “distance-decay” effects. This method was fed with primary data gathered from a face-to-face survey administered in Andalusian food retail establishments to 1,158 Iberian ham (acorn- or fodder-fed) consumers.

Main results: The results provide evidence of the effects of spatial discounting on the purchase of acorn- and fodder-fed Iberian hams associated with the agroecosystem in which they are produced. These effects presumably stem from consumers’ cultural identity linked to the agroecosystem of origin and their willingness to support the local economy and communities. In addition, in the case of acorn-fed Iberian ham, spatial discounting is affected by consumers’ perception of the ES provided by the agroecosystem, with consumers who significantly perceive these services showing a higher WTP, regardless of their place of residence (no spatial discounting).

Research highlights: Relevant insights can be gained from the results, especially concerning marketing strategies and the adoption of environmental and sociocultural certifications.


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How to Cite
Granado-Díaz, R., Villanueva, A. J., & Gómez-Limón, J. A. (2022). Spatial discounting in food products from high natural value agroecosystems. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 20(4), e0106.
Agricultural economics