The paper considers the relationship between changes in the country’s income level and food consumption as a direct influence on the qualitative characteristics of the population’s standard of living. The paper studies the problem of the primary choice of a high-quality food product by the consumer or the manifestation of food patriotism when income changes. A brief literary review on the results of the studies on the dependence of the quality of life and nutrition was provided. The results of the author’s study of the impact of changing the standard of living of the population on the example of Russia on the structure of consumer food choice are shown, taking into account food patriotism. The results are presented on the basis of conducting a two-stage annual study of consumer food choice from 2012 to the first half of 2020 in population groups by income change level, as well as membership in the statistical decile group by income. The corrective indicator is the territorial location and level of the import substitution policy in the framework of increasing the level of competitiveness in the quality characteristics of food products, as well as the perception of the possibility of the level of national development of agriculture. The paper draws conclusions on the degree of perception of the import substitution policy in agricultural markets from the perspective of final food consumers and the need to form a system to increase food competitiveness in terms of quality in world markets and price in domestic markets.
The globalization of food trade against the background of the influence of scientific and technological development of the agro-industrial complex, including the increase in the knowledge intensity of agriculture, stimulated the study of the impact of imported food consumption in shaping the quality of life of the population.
In Russia, the sanctions war of 2014, and then the unfolding world pandemic of 2020, contributed to the reduction in the import of food, which further led to a practical study of the impact of the quality of life of the population on the pattern of food consumption and on the place of food origin. The policy of food import substitution is actively considered in Russian studies, but the economic aspects of the impact of domestic food consumption on living standards when implementing the import substitution policy have not been studied enough (Sedova et al., 2017).
There is no sufficient study of the issues of the relationship between food import and the quality of life change.
The study identified the relationship between the quality of life and food import processes, as well as the import substitution policy. The objectives of the study include the review of research into the main elements of the quality of life and nutrition; research results on the dependence of the quality of life, nutritional patterns and food patriotism.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the paper is to study the formation of regularities of the influence of agrarian protectionism within the framework of the import substitution policy and the quality of life of the population.
The materials included scientific studies on the impact of the import substitution policy and the quality of life of the population posted in domestic and foreign databases of scientific citation, statistical materials according to the Federal State Statistics Service and the international statistical database of the UN FAO, data on information resources of national agricultural management services and food systems.
The main methods of study included monographic, analytical, and logic analysis.
The structure and quality of food is an essential element in the quality of life of both urban and rural populations. This issue is constantly being studied in many countries of the world both from medical and economic perspectives.
Literature review. International studies examine various aspects of changing the quality of life and consumption of imported food. For example, the relationship between food quality growth and food safety as an influence on public trust in both local and central authorities (Wu et al., 2017). The analysis of food import according to data on total income, inflation in food exporting country, perception of corruption in the country’s food export, openness of trade in the food exporting economy (Kaitibie, 2017).
In world research, there are studies on the relationship between food import and the quality of life of the middle class of society (Billen, 2010). The issues to tighten requirements for imported agricultural raw materials and food (Andrews, 2020; Bramall, 2020). Food quality and safety are studied based on current situation, causes and consequences, in terms of food import and export, quality and safety combined with economic theories and empirical analysis, from a macroeconomic point of view using the example of China (Liu, 2014); (Shan et al., 2016).
The studies on the implementation of the policy of non-import of food due to problems of safety of imported food were also carried out both in the USA (Calvin, 2003) and in EU countries (Baylis et al., 2010).
It should be noted that approaches to study the restriction of food import within the framework of their safety and the impact on the quality of life of the population are not correlated with the global goal of achieving the goal of “zero hunger”, as well as limiting the growth of national food production relative to the population growth (Porkka et al., 2017). In some countries with a high level of import dependence on the supply of agricultural raw materials, the issues of the quality of imported goods and their impact on the quality of life are sidelined due to the threat of loss of suppliers and market uncertainty (Araujo et al., 2020).
The studies of the choice of national products as a factor in improving the quality of life for the purpose of import substitution are associated with the concepts of ethnocentrism in the world trade economy (Han, 1988; Vida & Fairhurst, 1999).
A two-stage analysis was conducted to identify the relationship between the quality of life and the choice in consumption of imported and domestic products.
At the first stage (2012), the groups of subjects of expert and sociological survey by decile groups were identified using the example of the model region of the Russian Federation on the basis of statistical data on measuring the level of population income and quantifying consumer food demand by type. One typical subject of the Russian Federation from federal districts was chosen as the study territory.
At the second stage, 100 respondents of different decile groups were selected in each subject for conducting a long-term expert survey. The total number of respondents was 700 people. The survey was conducted annually from 2012 to 2020. The share of change in respondents was 12%. The study of the Russian market for domestic and imported agricultural products in the period from 2012 to the first half of 2020 for food purposes identified a number of aspects related to the choice of buyers by quality characteristics:
- The choice of household food resources with a change in living standards (depending on the transition to different decile groups) is primarily related to the price policy, the expectation of changes in demand in current and critical situations. The quality of products becomes more priority with an increase in the decile group of the population in terms of income.
- In 2020, the general analysis of data on the division of participants into 3 categories was carried out: respondents with a drop in real income (22%), with stable level of real income (34%) and with an increase in real income (44%). Each of the groups determined the characteristics of attitude to food quality and the different degree of food patriotism.
The group with a drop in income in 46-50% of cases (when conducting a correlation analysis by the type of food) showed a decrease in the interest in the quality of food consumed and in 65% of cases a decrease in the interest in the country of origin of food, subject to a decrease in the price of food. The main conditions are also the restriction of the choice between domestic and imported products.
The group with stable real incomes throughout the study showed an increase in the interest in improving the quality of food, as well as in the manifestation of food patriotism.
The group with an increase in real incomes exhibits excessive requirements for food quality and, regardless of the price factor, exhibits the lowest level of food protectionism.
- significant territorial differentiation of the perception of the import substitution policy from the territorial location and specialization of agricultural production was revealed: in the more northern regions, regardless of income, the degree of import dependence on food is perceived less negatively. Food patriotism is also affected by the place of residence: in the urban environment (with a higher level of income) it is more underestimated, in the rural environment it is most overestimated, which is explained by dependence on sectoral incomes (Yormirzoev et al., 2018).
The choice of domestic products in all groups was also influenced by the ideology and national marketing of ethnocentrism of a number of food product groups, as well as the formation of a healthy nutrition policy in all study groups.
The main reasons for the fluctuation in food patriotism are changes in the price and quality competitiveness of national food products. Over 8 years, consumers changed preferences from domestic to foreign (as well as in reverse) products, provided the quality of goods deteriorated.
The study of the pattern of consumption of food resources in the country of origin and changes in the quality of life of the population on the studied territorial sample revealed the patterns of influence of the price and quality characteristics of imported and domestic food: the higher the quality of life of the population (expressed including in income growth), the more the consumers are focused on the purchase of more expensive food products. Moreover, the higher the share of the population with an increasing quality of life, the higher the level of food patriotism as the most important element of import substitution.
The paper was prepared within the framework of the RFBR grant No. 18-010-00607.
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01 July 2021
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Land economy, land planning, rural development, resource management, real estates, agricultural policies
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Vorotnikov, I. L., Muravyova, M. V., & Petrov, K. A. (2021). Changing The Quality Of Life And Its Impact On Food Import Substitution. In D. S. Nardin, O. V. Stepanova, & V. V. Kuznetsova (Eds.), Land Economy and Rural Studies Essentials, vol 113. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 476-480). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.07.57