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The state and consumer confidence in eco-labeling: organic labeling in Denmark, Sweden, The United Kingdom and The United States


  • Kim Sønderskov


  • Carsten Daugbjerg


Trustworthy eco-labels provide consumers with valuable information on environmentally friendly products and thus promote green consumerism. But what makes an eco-label trustworthy and what can government do to increase consumer confidence? The scant existing literature indicates that low governmental involvement increases confidence. This suggests that government should just provide the basic legal framework for eco-labeling and leave the rest to non-governmental organizations. However, the empirical underpinning of this conclusion is insufficient. This paper analyses consumer confidence in different organic food labeling regimes with varying degrees of governmental involvement. Using unique and detailed survey data from the US, United Kingdom, Denmark, and Sweden, the analysis shows that confidence is highest in countries with substantial state involvement. This suggests that governments can increase green consumerism through active and substantial involvement in eco-labeling. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Suggested Citation

  • Kim Sønderskov & Carsten Daugbjerg, 2011. "The state and consumer confidence in eco-labeling: organic labeling in Denmark, Sweden, The United Kingdom and The United States," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 28(4), pages 507-517, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:507-517
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-010-9295-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Hudson, 2006. "Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 43-62, February.
    2. Eric M. Uslaner, 2011. "Corruption and Inequality," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(2), pages 20-24, 07.
    3. Julie A. Caswell & Eliza M. Mojduszka, 1996. "Using Informational Labeling to Influence the Market for Quality in Food Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1248-1253.
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    5. Ward, Ruby A. & Hunnicutt, Lynn & Keith, John E., 2004. "If You Can't Trust the Farmer, Who Can You Trust? The Effect of Certification Types on Purchases of Organic Produce," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-18.
    6. Andrew Jordan & Rüdiger K. W. Wurzel & Anthony Zito, 2005. "The Rise of 'New' Policy Instruments in Comparative Perspective: Has Governance Eclipsed Government?," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 53, pages 477-496, October.
    7. Norah Mackendrick, 2005. "The role of the state in voluntary environmental reform: A case study of public land," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 38(1), pages 21-44, March.
    8. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    9. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:16132624 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Andy Grinnall & Simon Burnett, 2015. "First Catch Your Fish: Designing a “Low Energy Fish” Label," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-16, May.
    2. Pavel Castka & Charles J. Corbett, 2016. "Governance of Eco-Labels: Expert Opinion and Media Coverage," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 309-326, May.
    3. Christoph Müller & Hansjörg Gaus, 2015. "Consumer Response to Negative Media Information About Certified Organic Food Products," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 387-409, December.
    4. Wilson Kong & Amran Harun & Rini Suryati Sulong & Jaratin Lily, 2014. "The Influence of Consumers Perception of Green Products on Green Purchase Intention," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(8), pages 924-939, August.
    5. Eleni Papaoikonomou & Matías Ginieis, 2017. "Putting the farmer’s face on food: governance and the producer–consumer relationship in local food systems," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 34(1), pages 53-67, March.
    6. repec:eee:forpol:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:200-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Qing Liu & Zhen Yan & Jiehong Zhou, 2017. "Consumer Choices and Motives for Eco-Labeled Products in China: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Choice Experiment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-12, February.


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