Xianwen Chen, Frode Alfnes, and Kyrre Rickertsen
Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Consumers prefer ecolabeled products. However, little is known about the effects of ecolabels when consumers are simultaneously exposed to negative environmental information about the ecolabeled products. We conducted a stated choice experiment in France with eight types of fish that were either ecolabeled or unlabeled. Four treatments with different types of information concerning potential negative environmental effects of wild fisheries and/or fish farming were used. We found that participants were willing to pay a 4% premium for Marine-Stewardship- Council-labeled wild cod, and a premium of about 11% for Agriculture- Biologique-labeled farmed salmon and farmed cod. However, when participants receive negative environmental information on farmed fish or harvesting wild species, willingness to pay falls by more than the positive effect of ecolabeling. This implies that the ecolabeling organizations need to improve consumers’ trust in their labels. Public authorities can also play a more active role in developing trust in ecolabels.

Key words: Discrete choice, ecolabels, environmental information, fish, stated preference.