Determinants of the Acceptance of Sustainable Production Strategies among Dairy Farmers: Development and Testing of a Modified Technology Acceptance Model
2. Materials and Methods
- Agro-forestry—Integration of cows and trees on the same plot of land
- Alternative protein source—Use of home- grown protein crops, such as lupins, beans, and peas, as animal feed
- Prolonged maternal feeding—The calves and lambs can suckle directly from their mothers (or a foster mother) for the first 3–5 months after they are born.
2.2. Description of the Questionnaire
2.3. Data Collection
2.4. Measurement and Construct Validation
3.1. Acceptance of Innovative Sustainable Production Strategies
3.2. Attitude Towards the Use of Novel Production Strategies
3.3. Intention to Adopt Novel Production Strategies
3.4. Information Sharing along the Supply Chain
3.5. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) Analysis
4. Discussion and Conclusions
- Perceived usefulness is the main determinant of farmer’s intention to adopt an innovative sustainable production strategy, and
- Farmers’ perceptions of what other relevant people want them to do, strongly influences what farmers’ perceive as useful to adopt.
- Collaboration practices, such as information sharing, reduce the impact of Subjective Norm on perceived usefulness.
- Organic farmers perceive any sustainable production strategy as more useful than their low-input conventional counterpart.
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Information Presented on the Sustainable Production Strategies
- Enables the production of wood, forage, livestock and fruits or nuts (depending on trees chosen), on the same plot of land, which improves farm revenue.
- Increases soil and plant biodiversity and carbon sequestration and reduces soil erosion.
- Trees offer shelter to grazing animals that benefit animal welfare.
- High initial financial investment for the purchase of trees and ongoing management input.
- The forage value of the leaves for animal nutrition is largely unknown.
- Trees may be damaged by livestock that eat, step on or rub against them.
A.2. Alternative Protein Source
- Reduces the amount of imported soya from outside the EU, and therefore reduces the risk of GMO contamination in the European food chain.
- Cultivation of protein crops, such as field beans and peas, play a fundamental role in organic/low-input agriculture by improving soil fertility.
- Farmers can produce animal feed on farm and therefore avoid extra costs associated with third party supply, logistics, delivery and handling.
- Limited research available to determine the effects of alternative proteins on dairy animals’ production and long-term impact on health and fertility.
- Protein content and biological value of local alternative protein crops are often lower than for soya.
- Locally home-grown alternative proteins may be insufficient to fulfil year round demand of dairy farms, therefore feed from external sources may still be required.
A.3. Prolonged Maternal Feeding
- Maternal feeding provides natural immunity for the animals.
- Improvement in animal welfare, as animals are allowed to exhibit natural behavior.
- Additional costs of buying milk replacer to feed the calves/lambs can be avoided.
- Provision is needed for changes in the housing/handling of both mother and offspring.
- Separation causes mother and offspring stress as they have had time to develop a strong social bond.
- Reduction in the amount of milk available to sell commercially during the calf/lamb suckling period.
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|Construct||Definition||Item Code||Item Wording|
|Attitude towards Use [18,19,20]||A farmer’s positive or negative feeling associated with the adoption of the production strategy||AA1||I think that the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain would be acceptable for my company.|
|AA2||All things considered, I think that adopting this production strategy in the dairy supply chain is not a good idea. (*)|
|AA3||I think that the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain would be wise.|
|Perceived Ease of Use [3,6,19,21,22]||The extent to which a farmer believes that using a particular production strategy would be free of effort||PEOU1||I think that the adoption of this production strategy in the dairy supply chain would require a substantial restructuring of supply chain activities and processes. (*)|
|PEOU2||I think that the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain would not demand much work.|
|PEOU3||All things considered, I think that the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain would require a large effort in training and advice. (*)|
|Perceived Usefulness [3,21,23]||The extent to which a farmer believes that using a particular production strategy will enhance her farm performance.||PU1||I think that the adoption of this production strategy in the dairy supply chain would improve the profitability of my company.|
|PU2||All things considered, I think that the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain would not prove useful for my company. (*)|
|PU3||I think that the adoption of this production strategy in the dairy supply chain would be advantageous for my company.|
|Perceived Financial Cost |
Tung et al. 2008
|PU4||I think that the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain would be too costly for my company.|
|Subjective Norm [3,6]||A person perception of relevant opinions on wether to adopt the production strategy in the SC||SN1||I think that leading companies in the industry would favour the adoption of this production strategy in the dairy supply chain.|
|SN2||I think that most people who are important to my company would favour the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain.|
|SN3||If it were widespread, I think that my company would favour the adoption of such a production strategy in the dairy supply chain.|
|Intention To Adopt [6,24]||A person intention to adopt the production strategy||IA1||All things considered, my company would be very unlikely to adopt this production strategy. (*)|
|IA2||I think that my company would adopt this production strategy.|
|Collaboration Index [16,17]||Thinking about your own company, how often do you collaborate with your Customer (1)/ Supplier (2) on the following issues?||CI1.1 |
|Information sharing on innovation policy |
Information sharing on certification issues
Information sharing on product quality
|H1||Dairy farmers’ attitude towards a sustainable production strategy is positively associated with their intention to adopt it.|
|H2||The more that a dairy farmer perceives a novel production strategy as useful, the more favourable is that farmer’s attitude towards its adoption.|
|H3||The more a dairy farmer perceives a novel production strategy as easy to use, the more favourable is that farmer’s attitude towards its adoption.|
|H4||The more that a dairy farmer perceives a novel production strategy as easy to use, the more that farmer will perceive that novel strategy as useful.|
|H5||The more that a dairy farmer perceives the influence of social and peer pressure to be favourable, the more favourable that farmer is towards the adoption of sustainable production strategies. |
H5.a Subjective norm is positively associated with perceived usefulness of the sustainable production strategies.
H5.b Subjective norm is positively associated with perceived ease of use of the sustainable production strategies.
|H6||The higher the information sharing within the supply chain the lower the effect of subjective norm on farmer’s acceptance of a sustainable production strategy.|
|H7||Perceived ease of use associated to the sustainable production strategies is higher for organic farmers.|
|H8||Perceived usefulness of the sustainable production strategies is higher for organic farmers.|
|--On-farm Dairy Processors||3||2||2||0||19||6||32|
|-of which Organic||7||26||19||12||36||40||140|
|Construct||Standard Loading||Mean||S.D.||Cronbach’s Alpha|
|Attitude towards use (AA)||0.90|
|AA2 (-)||0.93 ***||4.08||1.88|
|Perceived ease of use (PEOU)||0.67|
|PEOU1 (-)||0.59 ***||3.52||1.64|
|PEOU3 (-)||0.50 ***||3.17||1.52|
|Perceived Usefulness (PU)||0.91|
|PU2 (-)||0.82 ***||3.89||1.93|
|Subjective Norm (SN)||0.84|
|Intention To Adopt (IA)||0.90|
|IA1 (-)||0.95 ***||3.67||1.94|
|Collaboration Index (CI)||0.80|
|Prolonged Maternal Feeding||20||168||258||446|
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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. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101805
Naspetti S, Mandolesi S, Buysse J, Latvala T, Nicholas P, Padel S, Van Loo EJ, 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(10):1805. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101805Chicago/Turabian Style
Naspetti, Simona, Serena Mandolesi, Jeroen Buysse, Terhi Latvala, Philippa Nicholas, Susanne Padel, Ellen J. Van Loo, and Raffaele Zanoli. 2017. "Determinants of the Acceptance of Sustainable Production Strategies among Dairy Farmers: Development and Testing of a Modified Technology Acceptance Model" Sustainability 9, no. 10: 1805. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101805