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Food Scares and Trust: A European Study


  • Mario Mazzocchi
  • Alexandra Lobb
  • W. Bruce Traill
  • Alessio Cavicchi


The complex interactions between the determinants of food purchase under risk are explored using the SPARTA model, based on the theory of planned behaviour, and estimated through a combination of multivariate statistical techniques. The application investigates chicken consumption choices in two scenarios: (a) a 'standard' purchasing situation; and (b) following a hypothetical Salmonella scare. The data are from a nationally representative survey of 2,725 respondents from five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Results show that the effects and interactions of behavioural determinants vary significantly within Europe. Only in the case of a food scare do risk perceptions and trust come into play. The policy priority should be on building and maintaining trust in food and health authorities and research institutions, while food chain actors could mitigate the consequences of a food scare through public trust. No relationship is found between socio-demographic variables and consumer trust in food safety information. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation 2008 The Agricultural Economics Society.

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  • Mario Mazzocchi & Alexandra Lobb & W. Bruce Traill & Alessio Cavicchi, 2008. "Food Scares and Trust: A European Study," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 2-24, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:59:y:2008:i:1:p:2-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marine Desorge & Anne Marie Lacroix & Laurent Muller & Charles Pernin & Celia Potdevin & Bernard Ruffieux, 2017. "L'étiquetage au service d'une alimentation durable : le point de vue des consommateurs," Working Papers hal-01607347, HAL.
    2. Zhou, Jie-hong & Yan, Zhen & Li, Kai, 2015. "Understanding farmer cooperatives’ self-inspection behavior to guarantee agri-product safety in China," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211860, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Zerbini, Cristina & Luceri, Beatrice & Vergura, Donata Tania, 2017. "Leveraging consumer’s behaviour to promote generic drugs in Italy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(4), pages 397-406.
    4. Zhou, Li & Turvey, Calum & Hu, Wuyang & Ying, Ruiyao, 2015. "Fear and Trust: How Risk Perceptions of Avian Influenza Affect the Demand for Chicken," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 202077, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Glynn T. Tonsor & Ted C. Schroeder & Joost M. E. Pennings, 2009. "Factors Impacting Food Safety Risk Perceptions," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 625-644.
    6. Erdem, Seda & Rigby, Dan & Wossink, Ada, 2012. "Using best–worst scaling to explore perceptions of relative responsibility for ensuring food safety," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 661-670.
    7. Papadopoulos, Andrew & Sargeant, Jan M. & Majowicz, Shannon E. & Sheldrick, Byron & McKeen, Carolyn & Wilson, Jeff & Dewey, Catherine E., 2012. "Enhancing public trust in the food safety regulatory system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 98-103.
    8. Zhou, Li & Turvey, Calum G. & Hu, Wuyang & Ying, Ruiyao, 2016. "Fear and trust: How risk perceptions of avian influenza affect Chinese consumers’ demand for chicken," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 91-104.
    9. Rault, Arnaud & Krebs, Stephane, 2011. "Livestock epidemics and catastrophic risk management: State of the art and prospects on economic dynamics," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114793, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Heikkila, Jaakko & Pouta, Eija & Forsman-Hugg, Sari & Makela, Johanna, 2010. "Consumer Intentions Of Buying Poultry Meat Under Perceived Biological, Chemical Or Technological Risk In Finland," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116403, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Michele Graffeo & Lucia Savadori & Katya Tentori & Nicolao Bonini & Rino Rumiati, 2009. "Consumer decision in the context of a food hazard: the effect of commitment," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 8(1), pages 59-76, June.
    12. Ramo Barrena & Mercedes Sánchez, 2010. "Differences in Consumer Abstraction Levels as a Function of Risk Perception," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 34-59.
    13. Nocella, Giuseppe & Stefani, Gianluca & Romano, Donato, 2011. "Preferences, trust and willingness to pay for food information: An analysis of the Italian Market," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114606, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Rudisill, Caroline & Costa-Font, Joan & Mossialos, Elias, 2012. "Behavioral adjustment to avian flu in Europe during spring 2006: The roles of knowledge and proximity to risk," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1362-1371.
    15. Heikkila, Jaakko & Pouta, Eija & Forsman-Hugg, Sari & Makela, Johanna, 2011. "Consumer risk perceptions of zoonotic, chemical and gm risks: the case of poultry purchase intentions in Finland," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114551, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Menozzi, Davide & Finardi, C. & Davoli, U., 2013. "Food purchase for natural disaster relief: the case of Parmigiano-Reggiano sales in the aftermath of the 2012 earthquake waves," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 149889, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    17. Lydia C. Medeiros & Jeffrey T. LeJeune, 2015. "Food Safety Information Processing and Teaching Behavior of Dietitians: A Mental Model Approach," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-23, March.
    18. Arnaud Rault & Stéphane Krebs, 2011. "Catastrophic risk and risk management, what do we know about livestock epidemics? State of the art and prospects," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 11-05, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.

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