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If You Can't Trust the Farmer, Who Can You Trust? The Effect of Certification Types on Purchases of Organic Produce

  • Ward, Ruby A.
  • Hunnicutt, Lynn
  • Keith, John E.

An information asymmetry exists in the market for organic produce since consumers cannot determine whether produce is organically or conventionally grown. Various methods may solve this problem including signaling, reputation, and certification. Signaling and reputation may not work well, because signals are noisy, and reputation may be difficult for a producer to establish. Certification of the farm and its growing methods shows the most promise. A survey instrument testing the efficacy of certification is presented along with empirical analysis suggesting that no notable difference existed between independent certification methods, although independent certification had significantly different effects than self-certification.

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Article provided by International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) in its journal International Food and Agribusiness Management Review.

Volume (Year): 07 (2004)
Issue (Month): 01 ()

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Handle: RePEc:ags:ifaamr:8145
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  1. Gary D. Thompson & Julia Kidwell, 1998. "Explaining the Choice of Organic Produce: Cosmetic Defects, Prices, and Consumer Preferences," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 277-287.
  2. Loureiro, Maria L. & McCluskey, Jill J. & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2001. "Assessing Consumer Preferences For Organic, Eco-Labeled, And Regular Apples," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
  3. Caswell, Julie A. & Mojduszka, Eliza M., 1996. "Using Informational Labeling To Influence The Market For Quality In Food Products," Working Papers 25989, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
  4. Gary D. Thompson, 1998. "Consumer Demand for Organic Foods: What We Know and What We Need to Know," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1113-1118.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
  6. Kerton, Robert R. & Bodwell, Richard W., 1995. "Quality, Choice, and the Economics of Concealment: The Marketing of Lemons," Working Papers 9510, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  7. Luanne Lohr, 1998. "Implications of Organic Certification for Market Structure and Trade," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1125-1129.
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