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Traceability and Labelling of Food Products from the Consumer Perspective

  • Autori: Ingrassia,M; Bacarella,S; Columba,P; Altamore, L; Chironi,S
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Traceability of food products plays an important role in improving value chain processes of businesses and their reputation in the marketplace. In the past few years, consumers' concerns about food quality and personal health have been closely related to a continuous improvement of traceability systems and government regulation. Labeling of food products is a very important tool for consumers to acquire information about the quality of food, particularly at the purchase decision stage of the buying process. The objective of this research is to know consumers' preferences in regards to information contained in food labels. More particularly, this study focuses on what information is required by consumers on labels of food, highlighting groups of similar preferences. The interviews were carried out by telephone in two cities of north and south Italy (Milan and Palermo) on a sample of consumers extracted by stratified sampling. Cluster Analysis was performed. Results show a number of levels of information required by consumers that corresponds to different attributes of food product shown in the label. Consumers' preferences revealed a hierarchy of information required on labels. Particularly, with the increase of the amount of information required by the consumer, and contained in the foodstuffs label, the interest in information about the origin of the product and the processing increases as well. Moreover, results provide a measure of existing hierarchies among elements of information that describe food and that assess its quality. This findings show that consumers have more awareness about the relation between food production and quality, and they know that these elements are strictly related to attention of businesses in regards to safe management of agricultural systems. Furthermore, this study confirms previous literature that demonstrated how traceability is a method to reduce information asymmetry between producers and the consumer.