Historically, humans have created many sustainable practices, and among the most famous and successful sustainable practice is the rice–fish system in China. While previous studies have investigated eco-labeling food from various angles, consumer perception and preference of food produced from traditional sustainable practices (traditional sustainable food) remain unexplored. Taking the historical rice–fish system as an example, we examined consumers’ perception and willingness to pay (WTP) for rice produced by a rice–fish system, by using data from 1422 consumers from China. Our paper shows that most Chinese consumers do understand the meaning of the rice–fish system and perceive the traditional sustainable system as environmentally friendly and producing high-quality food. The premium that consumers are willing to pay for rice from a rice–fish system is about 41%. Consumers who perceive the linkage between sustainable production and food quality and safety have a significantly higher WTP for traditional sustainable rice (p
-value = 0.000). Interestingly, the perception of environment risk does not directly cause more traditional sustainable food consumption, but those who self-proclaimed as environmentalists are willing to pay a premium for traditional sustainable rice. Females, people with high family income, and people with children are more willing to pay for traditional sustainable rice. Understanding consumer perception and preference of traditional sustainable food provides critical information for Chinese policymakers to develop a cheap and efficient way to keep traditional sustainable practices and promote sustainable food consumption.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited