How consumers can contribute to pesticide reduction in vineyards and olive groves

Consumers of food and beverages wield significant influence over environmentally sustainable production practices through their purchasing decisions. It’s essential for supply to meet demand to prevent market imbalances in various agricultural sectors, including wine and olive oil production. However, sustainable environmental production policies have predominantly targeted farmers, overlooking the potential impact of consumer behavior.

Within the scope of the NOVATERRA project, we acknowledge the substantial role consumers can play in driving pesticide reduction in vineyards and olive groves, provided they demonstrate a willingness to pay a premium for environmentally friendly wines and olive oils. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experimental survey involving 5,091 wine and olive oil consumers across the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Our findings reveal promising indications of consumers’ willingness to pay for wines and olive oils produced with minimal pesticide usage, contingent upon the availability of appropriate certification signaling pesticide reduction at the farm level. These results contribute valuable insights to ongoing discussions regarding the efficacy of eco-labeling initiatives in empowering consumers to make informed choices that favor environmentally friendly products.