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The sceptical consumer? Exploring views about food assurance

Listed author(s):
  • Eden, Sally
  • Bear, Christopher
  • Walker, Gordon
Registered author(s):

    The problem of trust in food production and regulation has increasingly been raised as a practical and policy issue in recent years and one solution has been to provide more and better information about food production and regulation, especially through food assurance schemes. To look for evidence that this might be successful, this paper uses a small empirical study of how UK consumers think about food information and food assurance claims, using a statement sorting exercise (Q methodology) to identify key factors or shared views. We found that our consumers, despite differences in sociodemographics, gender, diet and shopping habits, tended to share a baseline of scepticism about food information and food assurance claims. We speculate that such scepticism may mean that, rather than providing a solution to the problem of distrust, food assurance schemes may themselves come to be distrusted.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306-9192(08)00019-5
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 624-630

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:6:p:624-630
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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    1. Hayes, D. J. & Fox, J. A. & Shogren, J. F., 2002. "Experts and activists: how information affects the demand for food irradiation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 185-193, April.
    2. Fox, John A. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Shogren, Jason F. & Kliebenstein, James B., 1996. "Experimental Methods in Consumer Preference Studies," ISU General Staff Papers 199607010700001007, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Gabriele Jahn & Matthias Schramm & Achim Spiller, 2005. "The Reliability of Certification: Quality Labels as a Consumer Policy Tool," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 53-73, December.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:48-60_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Barry, John & Proops, John, 1999. "Seeking sustainability discourses with Q methodology," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 337-345, March.
    6. Hatanaka, Maki & Bain, Carmen & Busch, Lawrence, 2005. "Third-party certification in the global agrifood system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 354-369, June.
    7. Princen, Thomas, 1997. "The shading and distancing of commerce: When internalization is not enough," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 235-253, March.
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