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Decision-making in Agriculture – What wool producers intend to do about preventing breech strike beyond 2010 and why
(picture courtesy of Farm Weekly)
My thesis involves investigating the decision-making process of wool producers in regards to whether they intend to continue mulesing beyond 2010, and why they have these intentions.
I’m using methods common in social psychology, business and marketing research to determine factors affecting the decision to continue mulesing or stop beyond 2010.
The first stage of my research is a qualitative phase, using interviews and focus groups to consult with producers about their beliefs, opinions, motivations and intentions in regards to the mulesing issue.
The second stage will be to further quantify these findings over a larger sample size using survey.
The mulesing issue has received substantial media exposure, with the animal right’s group PETA succeeding in getting major retailers such as Adidas and Hugo Boss to boycott the Australian wool industry over the use of mulesing.
Industry stakeholders need to have an understanding of where producers are coming from in regards to their decisions about mulesing, ensuring they accurately represent the thoughts and opinions of industry members. This could guide decisions made by industry organisations, making them optimal for continued industry success in the future. This could also promote industry solidarity, as decisions can be based on direct evidence from producers.