Smaller producers need to differentiate themselves from larger operations to ensure their economic survival. One way to do this is to market their products as being environmentally friendly and/or socially responsible.
Do consumers and retailers (grocery and restaurant buyers) perceive value in producers who advocate a positive environmental and social position in the marketplace?
Apparently, yes. Project results suggest that agricultural firms could earn a relatively high return (in some cases up to 20 percent more) on investment from strategies that highlight their environmental policies. Our data also suggest subtle, but important differences between consumers and retailers with regard to social positioning. Retailers, as compared to consumers, appear to be more inclined to pay more for goods produced by socially responsible firms.
Year of Grant Completion
DeCarlo, Thomas E. and Barone, Michael J., "Company environmental and societal positions as sources of competitive advantage: Consumer- and retailer-level effects" (2006). Leopold Center Completed Grant Reports. 261.