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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2001) 46(3): 36–41
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Consumer preference for environmentally certified forest products in New Zealand.

H. R. Bigsby and L. K. Ozanne

Christchurch, New Zealand: New Zealand Institute of Forestry.

The relative importance of five different wood outdoor furniture attributes to New Zealand consumers was studied using conjoint and cluster analyses. The study used a mail survey sent out in July 2000 in which respondents were asked to rate their preferences for different combinations of product attributes. The results indicate that the most important attribute for New Zealand consumers is the source of the wood (New Zealand preferred to imported). The type of forest from which the wood is sourced (plantation preferred to natural forest), whether the wood was environmentally certified or not, and the length of the warranty (longer warranty preferred) were the next most important attributes. Price emerged as the least important attribute, however when this general result was broken down using cluster analysis, four market segments for outdoor furniture in New Zealand were identified, two of which were price sensitive. The other two market segments have environmental considerations as key attributes, either in the form of preferences for explicit environmental certification or for implicit certification in the form of a preference for plantation-sourced wood. In terms of identifying these segments, results indicate that typical demographic variables, such as income or education, do not provide an adequate basis for describing these segments. The results of this study show that despite there being no environmentally certified wood on the market in New Zealand, consumers consider environmental certification or environmental attributes to be an important component of a package of product attributes in wooden outdoor furniture.
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