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Open AccessArticle

Sustainability Matters: Consumer Acceptance of Different Vertical Farming Systems

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, University of Goettingen, Marketing of Food and Agricultural Products, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
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Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4052; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154052
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing of Sustainable Food and Drink)
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Abstract

Fresh produce within vertical farming systems grows vertically in different layers stacked atop each other, thus allowing for the efficient use of space. As the environment in vertical farming systems is completely controlled, neither sunlight nor soil is necessary. On the one hand, vertical farming may help to provide a healthy diet for the growing global population because it has a greater crop yield per square meter used than conventional farming; moreover, it can offer the opportunity to grow food in climatically disadvantaged areas. On the other hand, growth conditions may be perceived as unnatural and the entire vertical farming system as unsustainable. Therefore, understanding the consumers’ acceptance of vertical farming systems is important. This study is the first work to provide insights into consumers’ acceptance of three different vertical farming systems. Data are collected through an online survey of 482 consumers in Germany in February 2018. Drivers of consumer acceptance of vertical farming systems are identified through structural equation modelling. The results indicate that perceived sustainability is the major driver of consumer acceptance of vertical farming systems. The larger the system, the higher the likelihood that it will be considered as sustainable. Obviously, consumers perceive something like ecologies of scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: technology acceptance model; structural equation modelling; partial least squares; food technology; controlled farming environment; urban agriculture technology acceptance model; structural equation modelling; partial least squares; food technology; controlled farming environment; urban agriculture
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Jürkenbeck, K.; Heumann, A.; Spiller, A. Sustainability Matters: Consumer Acceptance of Different Vertical Farming Systems. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4052.

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