Exploring consumers’ beef preferences using a stated method approach: Disentangling differences throughout the value chain

It is increasingly important that the extensive livestock systems become more resilient and market orientated to face current challenges. But this can only be achieved by more interconnected supply chains where consumers’ expectations are understood and the benefits of the production systems are communicated to the final consumer.
This paper focuses on an array of meat attributes and their role in consumers’ preferences, from both consumers’ own perspective and the opinions of other value chain agents. The former was studied with a consumers’ survey and a choice experiment, while the latter was investigated by the Delphi method. The study was carried out in a major beef consuming region in Spain, characterised by the presence of extensive cattle farming systems. Results reveal the existence of a niche market for more differentiated beef, where health qualities and local origin are particularly appealing. The ranking of preferences elicited through the rating-scale and the choice experiment are mostly consistent. We also find a certain degree of divergence between the agents’ valuations, being wider with those placed farther from the consumer, as is the cattle farmer.