ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

CRC High Performance Soils – Consumer demand, the value chain and communication strategies for promoting soil stewardship. (2018-2021)


CRC for High Performance Soils, $372,585 (CSU) and $86,200 (UTAS)


Professor Mark Morrison, Professor Anthony Saliba, Professor Eddie Oczkowski, Dr Sosheel Godfrey, Dr Tahmid Nayeem, Dr Felicity Small,  and Associate Professor Darla Hatton MacDonald, Dr Louise Grimmer and Dr Dugald Tinch (UTAS)


Rural and regional communities


This project sits under the Soil CRC “Investing in high performance soils” program. It builds on initial research undertaken by ILWS researchers which include a scoping study, Activating markets to create incentives for improved soil management: Literature scoping study (2017-2018) , which identified a lack of research on what consumers know about soil stewardship and how that may impact consumer demand.

The current project is in partnership with researchers from the University of Tasmania, with Charles Sturt the lead organisation. It initially investigated what Australian food consumers know about soil and soil stewardship, and current and potential future demand.  Specific research unpacking consumers’ notion of ‘environmentally friendly production’ may open up opportunities for better informing consumers about soil management practices.

The project is developing and trialling a range of communication materials to educate and promote soil stewardship to consumers.  It seeks to determine whether it is possible to increase consumers’ willingness to pay for soil stewardship, or to purchase products made using soil stewardship practices, so that farmers are better rewarded for implementing practices by higher farm-gate prices.

The project will also engage with value chain stakeholders (food producers, manufacturers, retailers, and others) to better understand their perspectives on consumer willingness to pay; interest and perceived obstacles to rewarding farmers for soil stewardship; and specific informational requirements for rewarding farmers for products made using soil stewardship practices.



This research will provide critical insights into how to develop consumer and value markets to reward soil management and which  communication strategies are likely to be most effective.


Professor Mark Morrison


Dr Jennifer Greig


CSU - Bathurst campus

August 2020