Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    EU Biofuel Policies for Road and Rail Transportation Sector
    Drabik, Dušan ; Venus, Thomas - \ 2019
    In: EU Bioeconomy Economics and Policies / Dries, L., Heijman, W., Jongeneel, R., Purnhagen, K., Wesseler, J., Cham : Palgrave (Palgrave Advances in Bioeconomy: Economics and Policies ) - ISBN 9783030286415 - p. 257 - 276.
    This chapter is about biofuel policies governing EU terrestrial transportation. We provide an overview of important historical and policy milestones fringing the path of ethanol and biodiesel production and consumption in the European Union. By discussing selected topics related to the biofuel production, we aim to lead the reader through the maze of interactions of the biofuel policies with other sectors of the EU bioeconomy. Initially food crops were seen as a promising candidate for a renewable biofuel feedstock; later developments at the global scale got EU policymakers thinking about the possible adverse effects of biofuel policies on food commodity prices and indirect land-use changes. These considerations resulted in capping first-generation biofuels and recently promoting second-generation (advanced) biofuels instead.
    Food processor and retailer non-GMO standards in the US and EU and the driving role of regulations
    Castellari, Elena ; Soregaroli, Claudio ; Venus, Thomas J. ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
    Food Policy 78 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 26 - 37.
    GMO - Non-GMO regulation - Private and public standards
    In the last two decades, voluntary standards have played an increasing role in reshaping the non-GMO labeling schemes in the EU and the US. This work compares the mandatory and voluntary labeling schemes for food produced from or with GMO in these two markets. After reviewing the EU and US regulatory frameworks, we introduce the incentives for the implementation of private and public voluntary standards. We describe the experiences of voluntary standards adoption by highlighting the development of non-GMO labeled products markets in EU and US. We emphasize the similarities between EU and US frameworks, the convergence between public and private standards, and identify the potential for future development of the non-GMO market. We conclude by describing the policy and economic implications of the development of the non-GMO labeled products markets and consequences of the regulation that will apply to crops derived by new genetic modification techniques.
    The role of a German multi-stakeholder standard for livestock products derived from non-GMO feed
    Venus, Thomas J. ; Drabik, Dusan ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
    Food Policy 78 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 58 - 67.
    Certification - Credence good - Food labeling - Genetically modified organisms - Multi-stakeholder - Process attribute - Voluntary private standard
    In Germany, products derived from livestock who were fed GMO are not required to be labeled as GMO. However, non-GMO labeling requires compliance with the national public non-GMO production standard, including a confirmation that no GM feed was used. In addition to the national standard, firms can adopt a private collaborative certification standard set by a multi-stakeholder organization. Using a survey of German dairies, we show that firms with more suppliers were more likely to adopt the multi-stakeholder standard or to stay conventional if their perceived risk of reputation loss and liability issues for non-GMO production were higher. Firms with lower perceived risks were more likely to comply only with the public standard for non-GMO labeling (i.e., not adopt the private standard). We discuss how potential incongruent interests of the various stakeholders that set the private production and certification standard may have incentivized firms to adopt the non-GMO standard in the initial phase after the introduction of the labeling option.
    Erratum to: The Plant Protection Products (PPP) Sector in the European Union: A Special View on Herbicides
    Bonanno, Alessandro ; Materia, Valentina C. ; Venus, Thomas ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
    European Journal of Development Research 30 (2018)2. - ISSN 0957-8811 - p. 343 - 343.
    Research for agri committee - the EU cattle sector: challenges and opportunities - milk and meat : Study
    Ihle, R. ; Dries, L.K.E. ; Jongeneel, R.A. ; Venus, T.J. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2017
    Publications Office of the European Union - ISBN 9789284606016 - 176
    The cattle sector is of great economic importance within the EU agricultural
    sector. Productivity of the sector is very heterogeneous. In the near future,
    a further increase in milk and bovine meat supply can be expected. To
    avoid a decline in farm gate prices, further product differentiation at the
    EU level, an increase in export opportunities as well as compensation for
    environmental services to support extensification will be needed.
    Schelpdierbestanden in de Nederlandse kustzone in 2017
    Troost, K. ; Perdon, K.J. ; Zwol, J. van; Jol, J. ; Asch, M. van - \ 2017
    IJmuiden : Stichting Wageningen Research, Centrum voor Visserijonderzoek (CVO) (CVO rapport 17.014) - 38
    schaaldieren - visserij - natura 2000 - noordzee - ensis - spisula - visstand - biodiversiteitsbepaling - shellfish - fisheries - natura 2000 - north sea - ensis - spisula - fish stocks - biodiversity assessment
    The exploitation of wild shellfish has developed from free fisheries to a strongly regulated commercial activity, in which economic and ecological objectives are both aimed for. Within the framework of this policy an annual stock estimate is made for the economic important species: razor shell (Ensis directus) and cut-through shell (Spisula subtruncata), and other less economic species. The survey covers the entire Dutch coastal zone, and is commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The fieldwork for the 23 th successive survey since 1995 was carried out in spring 2017. The principle objective of this survey is the assessment of the stock sizes of the economically important species Ensis directus and Spisula subtruncata in the Dutch coastal zone, including the Natura-2000 areas: “Noordzeekustzone”, “Voordelta”, “Vlakte van de Raan”, and the mouth of the Westerschelde estuary. In addition to the two most important species, we also report on the occurrence of three species of occasional economic importance: otter shell (Lutraria lutraria), striped venus clam (Chamelea striatula), and banded wedge shell (Donax vittatus). For the Dutch coastal zone the total stock size was estimated at 397.2 million kg fresh weight for razor shells, and 1,281.7 million kg fresh weight of cut-through shells. Stocks of the the other species were estimated at 18.1 million kg fresh weight for striped venus clams, 38.0 million kg fresh weight of banded wedge shells and 4,931 million individuals of otter shells. The stock of razor shells showed a sharp increase and was found to be the highest since 1995. The same can be said for the cut-through shells, where the stock of biomass increased to a level which is the highest since 1995. Also the stock of the otter shell and the banded wedge shell increased where the stock of the striped venus clam showed a slight decrease.
    Coexistence of GMO production, labeling policies, and strategic firm interaction
    Venus, Thomas Johann - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J.H.H. Wesseler, co-promotor(en): D. Drabik; M.J. Punt. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436670 - 148
    genetically engineered organisms - food products - nutrition labeling - labelling - crops - plant breeding - germany - european union - regulations - markets - businesses - genetisch gemanipuleerde organismen - voedselproducten - etiketteren van voedingsmiddelen - etiketteren - gewassen - plantenveredeling - duitsland - europese unie - regelingen - markten - bedrijven

    This dissertation analyzes the market effects of the coexistence of genetically modified organism (GMO) and conventional production, labeling policies, and strategic firm interactions through vertical product differentiation. Although we focus on GMOs, the applied frameworks can be adopted and extended to other differentiated products where similar concepts apply.

    The main body of the dissertation consists of four chapters. In the first chapter, we estimate the perceived costs of legal requirements (‘coexistence measures’) for growing genetically modified (GM) Bt maize in Germany using a choice experiment. The costs of the evaluated ex-ante and ex-post coexistence measures range from zero to more than 300 euros per hectare per measure, and most of them are greater than the extra revenue the farmers in our survey expect from growing Bt maize or than the estimates in the literature. The cost estimates for temporal separation, which were the highest in our evaluation, imply that the exclusion of this measure in Germany is justified. The costliest measures that are currently applied in Germany are joint and strict liability for all damages. Our results further show that neighbors do not cause a problem and that opportunities for reducing costs through agreements with them exist. Finally, we find that farmers’ attitudes toward genetically modified crops affect the probability of adoption of Bt maize. Our results imply that strict liability will deter the cultivation of Bt maize in Germany unless liability issues can be addressed through other means, for example, through neighbor agreements.

    The coexistence costs have implications for the supply of products in which GMOs are excluded from the production process (i.e., non-GM labeling). This is the topic of the second chapter. In that chapter, we discuss and illustrate the complexity of non-GM food labeling in Germany. We show how a multi-stakeholder organization that sets a voluntary private production and certification standard can combine the opposing and agreeing interests of its members. This cohesion reduces the fears of retailers of NGO pressure in the case of mislabeling. Whereas non-GM labeling in Germany started as a niche for farmer-to-consumer direct marketing and small processors, it was further driven by anti-GMO organizations. Today, retail chains label some of their store brands and are now the drivers. We also discuss how informing consumers through non-GM labeling addresses imperfect information, but at the same time, can create new information imperfections if consumers are not well informed about the labeling system itself.

    Non-GM labeling, together with the EU-wide mandatory labeling of GMOs and their requirements on coexistence, have implications for the potential regulation of crops derived by new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs). In the third chapter, we analyze the market and welfare effects of regulating crops derived by NPBTs as genetically modified or conventional products. We consider the mandatory scheme for labeling GM products and a voluntary non-GM scheme for labeling livestock products derived from non-GM feed. We develop a partial equilibrium model that explicitly takes into account both the coexistence costs at the farm level and the segregation and identity preservation costs at the downstream level. By applying the model to EU rapeseed, we find that regulating NPBTs as GM (as compared to non-GM) in combination with mandatory and voluntary labeling increases prices and therefore makes producers better off. We also show that higher coexistence costs make the price increasing effect even stronger. Voluntary non-GM labeling applied to feed makes consumers in this sector overall worse off, but it benefits farmers and rapeseed oil consumers overall as long as segregation costs are low. Consumers of biodiesel and industrial products, such as lubricants produced from GM rapeseed, benefit from high segregation costs. We show that the effects of farm-level coexistence costs largely differ from the effects of downstream market segregation costs.

    In the last of the four chapters, we consider the effects of market power and analyze the decision of investing in quality updating when high-quality product demand is growing. We model a decision of a duopoly that initially offers a product perceived as lower quality (e.g., GM product) to invest in an emerging high-quality (e.g., labeled non-GM) product. We investigate whether the smaller or the larger firm invests first. Either preemption or a war of attrition can result, depending on demand and cost factors. For each case, we derive the unique Nash equilibrium. We show that a firm’s timing to invest in high-quality production (e.g., implement a voluntary production standard) depends on several factors, such as the difference in firm size between competing firms and the level of vertical differentiation, growth and discount rate, demand parameters, and per-unit production costs. We show that institutions, which set private or public certification standards, can affect firms’ investment in differentiated products because the standard stringency affects the production and compliance costs as well as the level of product differentiation. Hence, through the setting of these standards, private and governmental institutions can impact the market structure as well as the growth of an emerging market. Finally, we discuss policy implications and how an adjustment of the EU-regulatory framework from a process- to a product-based system can make several issues discussed in this thesis problems of the past.

    The costs of coexistence on farms in Germany
    Punt, Maarten J. ; Venus, Thomas J. ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2017
    AgBioForum 20 (2017)1. - ISSN 1522-936X - p. 24 - 36.
    Coexistence - Ex-ante costs - Ex-post costs - Germany - GM maize - Regulation

    In the European Union, freedom of choice between genetically modified (GM) and conventional or organic crops, for both producers and consumers, should be provided through coexistence measures. Coexistence measures at the farm level differ in costs and effectiveness and should not tip the balance for farmers in their cultivation decisions, and therefore it is important to measure these costs. In this article, we investigate the costs of different coexistence measures for farmers in Germany. Currently, GM crop cultivation is outlawed in Germany, but there was a short period from 2005-2008 when cultivation of Bt maize was allowed. We interviewed former Bt maize farmers and their neighbors concerning their experience with Bt maize cultivation and the costs of coexistence measures. The results show the clear differences in burden between the different measures. In addition, we show that there are important differences in farm characteristics and overall landscape configuration that influence the costs or burden of coexistence measures.

    The Plant Protection Products (PPP) Sector in the European Union : A Special View on Herbicides
    Bonanno, Alessandro ; Materia, Valentina C. ; Venus, Thomas ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2017
    European Journal of Development Research 29 (2017)3. - ISSN 0957-8811 - p. 575 - 595.
    agriculture - European Union - herbicides - market concentration - plant protection products - regulation
    The policy debates on plant protection products (PPPs) in the European Union (EU) are dominated by the environmental implications of crop protection (in particular, the use of herbicides) and the concentration of the herbicide industry. This article aims at presenting an overview of the patterns herbicide usage over time between and within European countries, and an overview of the industry structure. Potential determinants driving some of these differences are discussed, such as the recent PPP policies adopted by the EU. Results show that herbicides are the most important input used in crop protection, but regional differences are substantial. The concentration of the industry is high, but below levels that would raise concerns by EU regulators. The sector is also highly regulated, which contributes to a high concentration and a consequent decline in innovations. This finding raises the possibility of substituting bans of active ingredients in herbicides with alternative solutions.
    The interaction between EU biofuel policy and first- and second-generation biodiesel production
    Boutesteijn, C. ; Drabik, D. ; Venus, T.J. - \ 2017
    Industrial Crops and Products 106 (2017). - ISSN 0926-6690 - p. 124 - 129.
    First- and second-generation biodiesel - Mandate - Double counting - Interaction - European union
    We build a tractable partial equilibrium model to study the interactions between the EU biofuel policies (mandate and double-counting of second-generation biofuels) and first- and second-generation biodiesel production. We find that increasing the biodiesel mandate results in a higher share of first-generation biodiesel in total diesel fuel, but leads to a lower share of second-generation biodiesel. The double-counting policy supports the production of second-generation biodiesel at the expense of a lower share of first-generation biodiesel, and increases the consumption of fossil diesel as compared to treating first- and second-generation biodiesel equally. Finally, improved collection of used cooking oil reduces the price of oilseeds and oils thereof, the prices of both biofuel types, and negligibly also the consumer fuel price.
    The costs of coexistence measures for genetically modified maize in Germany
    Venus, T.J. ; Dillen, K. ; Punt, M.J. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2017
    Journal of Agricultural Economics 68 (2017)2. - ISSN 0021-857X - p. 407 - 426.
    Bt maize - coexistence measure cost - genetically modified crops
    We estimate the perceived costs of legal requirements ('coexistence measures') for growing genetically modified (GM) Bt maize in Germany using a choice experiment. The costs of the evaluated ex-ante and ex-post coexistence measures range from zero to more than € 300 per measure and most are greater than the extra revenu the farmers in our survey expect from growing Bt maize or than estimates in the literature. The cost estimates for temporal separation, the ighest in our evaluation, imply that the esclusion of this measure in Germany is justified. The costliest measures of the ones that are currently applied in Germany are joint and strict liability for all damages. Our results further show that neighbours do not cause a problem and opportunities for reducing costs through agreements with them exist. Finally, we find that farmers' attitudes towards GM crops affect the probability of adoption of Bt maize. Our results imply that strict liability will deter the cultivation of Bt maize in Germay unless liability issues can be addressed through other means, for example, through neighbours agreements.
    Lessons from EU voluntary Labelling Schemes for GM-Free Processed Food Products
    Venus, T.J. ; Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2016
    In: The Coexistence of Genetically Modified, Organic and Conventional Foods: Government Policies and Market Practices / Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas, Phillips, Peter W.B., Wesseler, Justus, Smyth, Stuart J., - p. 379 - 386.
    In the European Union, a mandatory GMO labeling law for food and feed products that contain more than 0.9 % EU-approved GMOs has been in place since the early 2000s. This law does not include animal products derived from animals that were fed with GM feed. To enable consumers to also choose animal products derived from animals that were fed with non-GM feed only, some EU Member States have chosen to adopt national GM-free schemes. The labeling scheme in the EU results in three potential product categories: products labeled as GM following the mandatory labeling standard; products labeled as GM-free, following voluntary labeling standards; and non-labeled food products. In this chapter, we provide a short overview how the volunary GM-free standard for animal products in the European Union evolved since the introduction of GM foods.
    Water Use for Biofuels in Europe
    Drabik, D. ; Venus, T.J. - \ 2016
    In: Competition for Water Resources: Experiences and Management Approaches in the US and Europe / Ziolkowska, J.R., Peterson, J.M., Cambridge, MA : Elsevier - ISBN 9780128032374 - p. 144 - 159.
    Labelling GM-free Products. A Case Study of Dairy Companies in Germany
    Punt, Maarten ; Venus, Thomas ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2016
    EuroChoices 15 (2016)1. - ISSN 1478-0917 - p. 45 - 51.

    Food suppliers in the EU must comply with labelling regulations for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, excluded from mandatory labelling are food products derived from animals fed with GM feed (mainly GM soybean in the EU). Because of this labelling exemption, consumers are unable to identify which animal products were derived without the use of GMOs. Therefore, Germany and other countries introduced voluntary 'GM-free' labelling legislations or guidelines that allow companies to signal that their products are 'GM-free'. We present the results of a survey among German dairy companies. We asked them whether they produce 'GM-free' and to assess the 'GM-free' market in terms of (1) the current status, (2) potential benefits, (3) limitations and (4) risks. We find that smaller dairy companies mostly switch completely, whereas 'GM-free' production of larger dairy companies is often limited. The results indicate that for switching to 'GM-free' production, long-term effects such as the creation of a positive image or differentiation from competitors are more important for dairy companies than short-term effects such as higher sales or profit.

    Hyper-temporal SPOT-NDVI dataset parameterization captures species distributions
    Girma, Atkilt ; Bie, C.A.J.M. de; Skidmore, Andrew K. ; Venus, Valentijn ; Bongers, Frans - \ 2016
    International Journal of Geographical Information Science 30 (2016)1. - ISSN 1365-8816 - p. 89 - 107.
    Boswellia papyrifera - HANTS - hyper-temporal - MAXENT - SPOT-NDVI

    Hyper-temporal SPOT NDVI images contain useful information about the environment in which a species occurs, including information such as the beginning, end, peak, and curvature of photosynthetically active vegetation (PAV) greenness signatures. This raises the question: can parameterization of hyper-temporal SPOT NDVI images be useful to predict species distribution? A set of SPOT-NDVI images for the whole of Ethiopia covering nine years was classified using the unsupervised ISODATA clustering algorithm to group similar NDVI pixel values. The HANTS (Harmonic ANalysis of Time Series) algorithm, that fits series of smoothing cosine waves, was then applied to the time series for each of the NDVI classes to generate seven output Fourier components. These components, together with the topographic parameters slope and elevation, were used as predictors in a species distribution model using MAXENT. Presence-only data of one test species, Boswellia papyrifera, were modelled. This species is diminishing at an alarming rate and requires conservation. The performance of the model was evaluated by the area under curve (AUC) of the receiver-operating characteristics value. The output distribution map was tested for its agreement with the NDVI-clustering approach and conventional B. papyrifera distribution map using Kappa. The relative contributions of the first four predictors to the MAXENT in sequence were: 2nd harmonic phase, elevation, amplitude of the 1st harmonics, and amplitude of the 2nd harmonics. The average AUC test result for the 100 runs was 0.98 with a standard deviation of 0.002. The probability distribution map clearly shows high correlation with the B. papyrifera occurrence data. In addition, the distribution map was found to be in agreement with the NDVI-clustered and conventional map with improved details. Classifying hyper-temporal NDVI images and extracting their parameters through the use of the HANTS algorithm captures the PAV greenness behaviour (parameters) of the environment of the species studied. These parameters have proved successful in predicting the distribution of B. papyrifera.

    Expression of the dyslexia candidate gene kiaa0319-like in insect cells
    Holster, Savanne ; Oers, Monique M. van; Roode, Els C. ; Tsang, Otto W.H. ; Yeung, Venus S.Y. ; Vlak, Just M. ; Waye, Mary M.Y. - \ 2015
    In: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: The Complexity of Human Traits and Diseases Nova Science Publishers - ISBN 9781634823135 - p. 11 - 19.
    Baculovirus expression system - Dyslexia - kiaa0319 - kiaa0319-like

    The human kiaa0319-like gene is one of the candidate genes for developmental dyslexia, but the exact function of the encoded KIAA0319L (KL) protein is not known. To allow functional analysis a purified, biologically active KL protein is required. The kiaa0319-like gene was expressed in insect cells using the baculovirus expression system. To optimize the expression of the kiaa0319-like gene and to be able to purify the KL protein, several approaches were used. Two different recombinant baculoviruses were made, one with the full length coding sequence of KL and one that lacked the transmembrane domain to facilitate purification.. Versions in which the kiaa0319L sequences were cloned downstream of the honeybee melittin signal sequence were also made. All four constructs contained a C-terminal influenza hemagglutinin (HA)-tag. Sf9 insect cells infected with these recombinant baculoviruses produced the KL protein, as demonstrated by Western blot analysis using either the HA-antibody or KL-specific polyclonal serum.

    Koncentrátia na vybranych trhoch vstupov polnohospodárskeu produkcie v EU
    Drabik, D. ; Venus, T.J. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2015
    Agromagazin (2015)12. - p. 12 - 13.
    Evolution of European GM-free standards: Reasoning of consumers and strategic adoption by companies
    Venus, T.J. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2015
    Review of Agricultural and Applied Economics 18 (2015)2. - ISSN 1336-9261 - p. 20 - 27.
    In this article, we discuss reasoning of consumers and strategic adoption behavior of producers and retailers with respect to genetically modified-free (GM-free) quality standards in Europe. We argue that there are three major reasons why a mandatory GM labeling scheme differs from a voluntary process-based GM-free labeling scheme regarding the effect on consumer demand: (1) while both mandatory and voluntary labels signal that products containing, or produced with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are of lower quality, experiments show that the signaling effect is stronger in the case of mandatory labels; (2) some consumers care more about the effects of consuming GMOs directly (i.e., labeled GMO) compared to consuming only products derived from GMOs (i.e., non-labeled GM-free); and (3) mandatory labeling shifts some of the labeling burden to the GM producer making the GM product relatively more expensive compared to the case of voluntary GM-free labeling. We discuss reasons why producers or retailers set or implement a voluntary GM-free production standard. To illustrate how the firm adoption theory can be extended, we use a real option game framework in a duopolistic setting and show that it can be beneficial to offer a GM-free product without labeling it. We show that this can be the case if investing without labeling works as a pre-investment or option to extend to reduce the investment cost of implementing a label in the case of an increase in demand. Finally, we provide a list of important events that have affected the evolution of the GM-free market in Europe.
    Overview of the Agricultural Inputs Sector in the EU
    Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Bonanno, A. ; Drabik, D. ; Materia, V.C. ; Malaguti, L. ; Meijer, M. ; Venus, T.J. - \ 2015
    Brussels : European Union - ISBN 9789282379219 - 122
    landbouw - input van landbouwbedrijf - landen van de europese unie - input-output analyse - kostenanalyse - aanbodsevenwicht - agriculture - farm inputs - european union countries - input output analysis - cost analysis - supply balance
    This study analyzes the seed, feed, energy, fertilizer, and plant protection agents farm input sectors from two perspectives: the demand side and the supply side. Average input shares in the EU-27 for seeds and fertilizers declined while they increased for feeds. Market concentration is the largest in the plant protection agents sector followed by the energy sector, and lowest in the feed sector.
    Dairies investment decisions in voluntary GM-free labeling standards in Germany
    Venus, T.J. ; Punt, M.J. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2014
    In: Book of Abstracts of the 18th ICABR Conference. - Nairobi, Kenya : AATF - p. 26 - 26.
    Changing the legal framework of the German genetic engineering act in 2008 created a new niche market in Germany. Since then, a uniform or private “gm-free” label allows suppliers of animal products (e.g. milk, eggs, meat) to provide consumers with the information that a product originates from animals which were fed without genetically modified (gm) feed. A survey shows that in 2011, dairies already processed more than twice as much “gm-free” raw milk, i.e., at least 5.2 %, compared to organic raw milk. Mainly small dairies in Southern Germany offered “gm-free” products. Due to higher irreversible investment costs and potentially high exit costs, our hypothesis is that “gm-free” production will remain a niche market for small dairies. To test this hypothesis, a survey of German dairies will be conducted in March 2014. In this contribution, we will present the findings regarding dairies’ investment decisions. We expect to find that larger firms will put a higher value to the risk of potential reputation losses in case of exiting the “gm-free” market. We also expect uncertainty of the availability of gm-free protein feed to be one of the main reasons for non-adopters to wait for further information. Would this be the case, the question remains by how much the strategy of policy makers, who are currently planning to increase European protein feed production, will reduce uncertainty, and if this decrease will result in an increase “gm-free” production.
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