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IJESD 2017 Vol.8(10): 736-741 ISSN: 2010-0264
doi: 10.18178/ijesd.2017.8.10.1048

The Influence of Distributive Justice on Agricultural Environmental Sustainability

Jay Whitehead

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: jay.whitehead@lincoln.ac.nz).


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.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-0264 (Print); 2972-3698 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Environ. Sci. Dev.
  • Frequency: Bimonthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJESD
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Richard Haynes
  • Managing Editor: Ms. Cherry L. Chen
  • Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2022: 1.4), Google Scholar, CNKI, ProQuest, EBSCO, etc. 
  • E-mail: ijesd@ejournal.net

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