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Consumers want safer meat - but not at all costs

  • Morkbak, Morten Raun
  • Christensen, Tove
  • Gyrd-Hansen, Dorte E.

Consumers, the public authorities, and the food industry are all concerned with the safety of meat. The increasing demand for safer food from the consumers and the public authorities puts pressure on producers to identify efficient methods to reduce risks. Earlier studies have shown that consumers state a willingness to pay for safer meat – but we know very little about how different methods to reduce risks affect the consumers’ preferences for safer meat. In the present study, a choice experiment for a representative sample of the Danish population was conducted to elicit whether consumers’ willingness to pay for reducing the risks of Salmonella infections was affected by the specific risk reduction methods (risk reductions using the current policy, at farm level, or decontamination at slaughterhouse using water/steam or lactic acid). More specifically, the consumers were asked to choose between different packages of minced pork that differed with respect to Salmonella risks, risk reduction method, and price. The sample consisted of 844 Danish consumers, who answered a questionnaire over the internet. Our results indicate that consumers demand safer meat, but not at all costs – there is a limit to what they will pay and they care about how the risk reduction is obtained. They prefer risk reductions to take place at farm level followed by decontaminations using water/steam and (least preferred) lactic acid.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/44319
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Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium with number 44319.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44319
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  1. Shogren, Jason F. & Fox, John A. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Roosen, Jutta, 1999. "Observed Choices For Food Safety in Retail, Survey and Auction Markets," Staff General Research Papers 5024, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521788304 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Fredrik Carlsson & Peter Martinsson, 2003. "Design techniques for stated preference methods in health economics," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 281-294.
  4. Hayes, Dermot J. & Fox, John A. & Shogren, Jason F., 2002. "Experts and Activists: How Information Affects the Demand for Food Irradiation," Staff General Research Papers 10105, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Rodolfo M. Nayga & Richard Woodward & Wipon Aiew, 2006. "Willingness to Pay for Reduced Risk of Foodborne Illness: A Nonhypothetical Field Experiment," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(4), pages 461-475, December.
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