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Determining Consumer Preferences for Ecolabeled Forest Products: An Experimental Approach

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Numerous studies have measured consumers' attitudes about forest products that are certified to have come from well-managed forests. Here we report an experiment that measured actual consumer behavior. During the experiment, conducted at two Home Depot stores in Oregon, consumers were offered a choice between virtually identical “ecolabeled” and unlabeled plywood products. Data were collected by tracking the amount sold of each type. The presence of the label was associated with increased sales when the two products were offered for the same price, but when the certified plywood was priced at a premium, its sales fell. Because of the limited sample size and sample frame in this study, the results should not be considered applicable to the general population. An improved study design would give customers more information about certified products.
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Keywords: certification; chain of custody; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; industry; marketing; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Forest Products Marketing Extension Specialist Montana State University Extension Forestry 32 Campus Drive Missoula MT 59812-0606, Email: [email protected] 2: Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Department of Wood Science and Engineering Oregon State University Corvallis

Publication date: 01 June 2004

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