Abstract—The implementation and uptake of sustainability
initiatives will benefit from any burdens imposed on those
expected to participate being perceived as fair. The financial
structures that underpin the policies and programs designed to
enhance sustainability are tightly bound to a set of ethical and
moral issues. The research sought to understand how New
Zealand (NZ) horticultural enterprises conceptualize fairness,
equity, and distributive justice concerns surrounding
environmental mitigation. A vignette survey of horticultural
enterprises was used to elicit views on fairness under different
distributive justice scenarios. It was found that the majority of
NZ horticulturalists preferred to sacrifice some overall industry
efficiency in the interest of promoting a more egalitarian
distribution of burdens amongst growers. Respondent’s also
demonstrated a strong tendency to absorb the costs of on-farm
environmental mitigation, and supported the ‘polluter pays’
principle. The research suggests that fairness concerns may
have a significant influence over how growers’ would like a
sustainability assessment initiative to function.
Index Terms—Agricultural sustainability, burden sharing distributive justice, sustainability assessment.
Jay Whitehead is with the Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Jay Whitehead, "The Influence of Distributive Justice on Agricultural Environmental Sustainability," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 736-741, 2017.