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Willingness to pay for organic cotton: Consumer responsiveness to a corporate social responsibility initiative

Federico Nassivera (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Udine, Udine, Italy)
Stefania Troiano (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Udine, Udine, Italy)
Francesco Marangon (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Udine, Udine, Italy)
Sandro Sillani (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Udine, Udine, Italy)
Iskra Markova Nencheva (Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers seem to be increasingly concerned about the environmental and social consequences of their purchases. For this reason, companies are involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies for their supply chain to responsibly manage the consumption of the environmental resources and to support sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the Italian organic apparel consumer by investigating the importance of consumers’ attitudes towards CSR in agricultural products processing industries and their willingness to pay (WTP) for organic cotton clothing.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire data were gathered in Italy on a Likert scale. Questions focussed on WTP for organic cotton, with the aim to test consumer responsiveness to a CSR initiative in Italy. A structural equation model is proposed to shed some light into this relatively unexplored area.

Findings

One of the direct implications of the authors’ study is that companies in apparel industry should try to improve their social and environmental performance to elicit the desired consumer responses.

Originality/value

This implies important managerial implications for new marketing strategies. If consumers’ perception of CSR practices drives their behavioural intention, firms will be motivated to be involved and to invest in socially responsible practices.

Keywords

Citation

Nassivera, F., Troiano, S., Marangon, F., Sillani, S. and Markova Nencheva, I. (2017), "Willingness to pay for organic cotton: Consumer responsiveness to a corporate social responsibility initiative", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 8, pp. 1815-1825. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-12-2016-0583

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited