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Agriculture and the food industry in the information age

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  • Wim Verbeke

Abstract

Food consumers face uncertainty and demand high quality and safe food products, apparently with as much information as possible. Today's agriculture and food industry aims at reducing market failures from information asymmetry. Such information provision can be successful only if it meets the information needs of the target audience. This paper focuses first on individual characteristics that shape information needs, and then discusses information provision through mass media and labelling. It emerges that consumer needs for information cannot be taken for granted. The provision of ever more and too detailed information entails a risk of information overload, resulting in consumer indifference or loss of confidence. Instead, segmentation and targeted information provision are proposed as potential solutions to market failure from information asymmetry. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Wim Verbeke, 2005. "Agriculture and the food industry in the information age," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 347-368, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:erevae:v:32:y:2005:i:3:p:347-368
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