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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1805; doi:10.3390/su9101805

Determinants of the Acceptance of Sustainable Production Strategies among Dairy Farmers: Development and Testing of a Modified Technology Acceptance Model

1
Dipartimento di Scienze e Ingegneria della Materia, dell’Ambiente ed Urbanistica (SIMAU), Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, Ancona 60131, Italy
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
3
LUKE, Economic Research, Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
4
Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, IBERS Gogerddan Campus, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 3EE, UK
5
Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, Hamstead Marshall, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 0HR, UK
6
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali (D3A), Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, Ancona 60131, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

An extended version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was applied by means of Structural Equation Modelling to testing various hypotheses on attitudes and intentions of dairy farmers towards three novel sustainable production strategies, as well as the influence of organic practices and collaborative behaviours, such as information sharing with supply-chain partners. Data on the acceptance of three sustainable production strategies, namely ‘Agro-forestry’, ‘Alternative protein source’, and ‘Prolonged maternal feeding’ were collected by a survey of dairy farmers in six European Union (EU) countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, United Kingdom). We found that perceived usefulness is the key determinant of acceptance, while the intention to adopt a sustainable production strategy may derive from the influence of opinions (and behaviours) of relevant others (e.g., leading dairy farmers, family members, advisors) showing the role of interactions among farmers and other stakeholders in the adoption of innovations. Finally, the perceived usefulness of all of the investigated strategies is higher for organic farmers, while collaborative patterns reduce the impact of subjective norm on usefulness and overall acceptance. Our findings should encourage policy makers to consider the important role of supply chain management practices, including collaboration, to enhance the sustainability of dairy farming systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy farming; sustainability; organic farming; technology acceptance model; structural equation modeling dairy farming; sustainability; organic farming; technology acceptance model; structural equation modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Naspetti, S.; Mandolesi, S.; Buysse, J.; Latvala, T.; Nicholas, P.; Padel, S.; Van Loo, E.J.; Zanoli, R. Determinants of the Acceptance of Sustainable Production Strategies among Dairy Farmers: Development and Testing of a Modified Technology Acceptance Model. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1805.

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