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If You Can't Trust the Farmer, Who Can You Trust? The Effect of Certification Types on Purchases of Organic Produce

Author

Listed:
  • Lynn Hunnicutt
  • John Keith
  • Ruby Ward

Abstract

An information asymmetry exists in the market for organic produce since consumers cannot determine whether produce is organically or conventionally grown. Various methods may solve this problem including signaling, reputation, and certification. Signaling and reputation may not work well, because signals are noisy, and reputation may be difficult for a producer to establish. Certification of the farm and its growing methods shows the most promise. A survey instrument testing the efficacy of certification is presented along with empirical analysis suggesting that no notable difference existed between independent certification methods, although independent certification had significantly different effects than self-certification.

Suggested Citation

  • Lynn Hunnicutt & John Keith & Ruby Ward, 2002. "If You Can't Trust the Farmer, Who Can You Trust? The Effect of Certification Types on Purchases of Organic Produce," Working Papers 2002-18, Utah State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:usu:wpaper:2002-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kerton, Robert R. & Bodwell, Richard W., 1995. "Quality, Choice, and the Economics of Concealment: The Marketing of Lemons," Working Papers 9510, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
    2. Luanne Lohr, 1998. "Implications of Organic Certification for Market Structure and Trade," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1125-1129.
    3. Gary D. Thompson & Julia Kidwell, 1998. "Explaining the Choice of Organic Produce: Cosmetic Defects, Prices, and Consumer Preferences," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 277-287.
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    6. 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.
    7. Loureiro, Maria L. & McCluskey, Jill J. & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2001. "Assessing Consumer Preferences For Organic, Eco-Labeled, And Regular Apples," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 1-13, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sackett, Hillary & Shupp, Robert & Tonsor, Glynn, 2016. "Differentiating “Sustainable” From “Organic” And “Local” Food Choices: Does Information About Certification Criteria Help Consumers?," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-15, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Napitupulu, Togar Alam & Natawidjaja, Ronnie S., 2009. "Adding value to fresh and processed produce through product certification," Working Papers 121040, United Nations Centre for Alleviation of Poverty Through Secondary Crops' Development in Asia and the Pacific (CAPSA).
    4. Dabbert, Stephan & Lippert, Christian & Zorn, Alexander, 2014. "Introduction to the special section on organic certification systems: Policy issues and research topics," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P2), pages 425-428.
    5. Zorn, Alexander & Lippert, Christian & Dabbert, Stephan, 2012. "Zur Nichteinhaltung Von Vorschriften Des Ökologischen Landbaus In Deutschland Und In Der Schweiz – Statistische Analyse Einzelbetrieblicher Daten," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012 133414, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    6. Steve Holland, 2016. "Lending credence: motivation, trust, and organic certification," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-18, December.
    7. Adina-Roxana MUNTEANU, 2015. "The Third Party Certification System For Organic Products," Network Intelligence Studies, Fundația Română pentru Inteligența Afacerii, Editorial Department, issue 6, pages 145-151, December.
    8. Urutyan, Vardan E., 2007. "Market Assessment and Development for Organically Grown Produce in Armenia," 106th Seminar, October 25-27, 2007, Montpellier, France 7914, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Grolleau, Gilles & McCann, Laura M.J., 2012. "Designing watershed programs to pay farmers for water quality services: Case studies of Munich and New York City," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 87-94.

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