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Roosen paper (03-65)

Marketing of Safe Food through Labeling

By

Jutta Roosen

Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies

University of Kiel

Olshausenstr. 40

24098 Kiel

Germany

Phone: +49 431 880 4567

Fax: +49 431 880 7308

Email: jroosen@food-econ.uni-kiel.de

FAMPS Conference

Washington DC

March 20-21, 2003





Marketing of Safe Food through Labeling

Abstract

A series of successive food safety crises has scattered consumers? confidence in the system?s vigilance in delivering high quality and safe food. ? In this environment of suspect, regulators, producers, and retailers alike are trying to regain consumers? confidence by redesigning legislation and quality assurance programs. ? These programs, influenced by more general developments of the food market, focus on process innovation and often require the traceability and identity preservation of products. ? Due to the particularity of labeling credence attributes such as food safety, consumers and producers alike are focusing on process attributes signaling food safety.
Marketing of Safe Food through Labeling

Introduction

A series of successive food safety crises has scattered consumers? confidence in the food system?s vigilance in delivering high quality and safe food. ? In this environment of suspect, regulators, producers, and retailers alike are trying to regain consumers? confidence by redesigning legislation and quality assurance programs. ? These efforts can only succeed in regaining consumers? confidence, if new standards of process and product attributes are successfully communicated. ? Product labeling is one way to accomplish such communication.

Food safety characteristics can be defined in a varying ways, and in the context of marketing safe foods through labels, it is useful to give a large definition of signals informing consumers about food safety. ? A strict definition of food safety would require focusing on product attributes that influence adverse health effect emanating from these foods. ? In a broader definition, all attributes, product and process attributes, may influence consumers? perception of a food?s safety. ? Some attributes may serve as food safety signals even when strong cause-effect relationships remain elusive. ? Consequently, consumers also are looking for process attributes as signals of product quality. ? This is documented, e.g., in the increase in demand for organic products after the dioxin crisis in Belgium or the BSE crisis. ? While BSE and the Nitrofen scandal in Germany have demonstrated that org

 
       

 

 

 
   
 
 

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