San José : Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a middle-income country and has built up a diversified economy in recent decades. Nevertheless, smallholder agriculture still plays an important role for food security and in stabilising social structures. This is especially true for the regions outside the urbanised core, the Central Valley. Traditionally oriented towards social cohesion, Costa Rican society has undergone a process of rapid social and spatial polarisation. This has led to an influx of populist political groups and right-wing evangelical movements, especially in rural areas. This study was conducted in cooperation between the University of Costa Rica (UCR), IDOS and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Based on a study from 2020 Inclusive and sustainable agriculture in Costa Rica - a quality label to promote solidarity-based trade, an online survey was conducted. Its aim was to determine whether there is a willingness among the population to prefer products from family farming when making consumption choices and, if necessary, to pay a higher price. A total of 518 people were interviewed. The survey initially confirmed what earlier studies had also shown: supermarkets are by far the most important place where Costa Ricans obtain their food. Traditional sales channels, such as buying directly from farmers and on farmers' markets, play a subordinate role. In principle, consumers were found to be willing to give preference to products from family farming over, for example, imported goods, as long as they are labelled with a credible quality mark. An additional price of up to 10% is considered acceptable by 57% of the respondents, but higher price premiums are only considered acceptable by a small minority.