The Beginning of Organic Fish Farming in Italy
Organic fish farming,Product differentiation,Organic fish demand
Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Italian demand for organic products is rapidly increasing, yet there is currently no supply of certified organic marine-fish. Moreover, over recent years marine fish farm profitability has been reduced because of competition from imported products. A pilot project was carried out in order to: a) define standards for organic marine fish farming; b) evaluate production costs in four farms, experimenting semi-extensive organic fish farming under proposed standards (seabream, Sparus aurata and seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax); c) estimate the potential demand for certified organic marine fish and consumer willingness to pay in order to figure out the profitability of a product differentiation strategy. This paper shows the economic results for production costs at the farm level and potential demand. The latter has been estimated using survey-data of 6,877 consumers by means of a questionnaire-interview carried out during an experimental organic marine fish promotion sale. Results show that organic marine fish farming could be a good market opportunity for some Italian fish farmers by improving consumer information on organic products, adopting a supply concentration strategy at the farm level and carefully managing semi-extensive-farming set up by proposed regulations.