Given the abundant straw resources in Northeast China and the huge external costs associated with fossil fuels, straw-based biomass power plants have emerged as a popular alternative to coal-fired power plants. The sustainability of these green alternatives depends on straw supply from farmers, yet little is known about their perceptions regarding such supply because of a lack of cooperation in the supply chain. To better understand farmers’ opinions on supplying straw, this study examined their trust in middlemen, perceptions regarding risk in straw supply, the possibility of reducing transaction costs, and their willingness to supply straw. Data were collected from 275 farmers in the national bioenergy industry area in Wangkui County, Northeast China. We investigated the theoretical and empirical connections between trust and risk perception, trust and the possibility of reducing transaction costs, and trust and willingness to supply straw. The results indicated that education, income, and trust factors explained farmers’ risk perceptions, the possibility that they will reduce transaction costs, and their willingness to supply straw. On the basis of the analysis, a model of the influence of trust on straw supply was established. The overall findings indicated that biomass power plants and middlemen must build trusting relationships with farmers to ensure sustainable biomass supply.
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