Traceability Information Carriers: The Technology Backgrounds and Consumers’ Perceptions of the Technological Solutions
Appetite, Vol. 53, 2009
Posted: 10 Mar 2010
Date Written: 2009
The implementation of traceability in the food supply chain has reinforced adoption of technologies with the ability to track forward and trace back product-related information. Based on the premise that these technologies can be used as a means to provide product-related information to consumers, this paper explores the perceived benefits and drawbacks of such technologies. The aim is to identify factors that influence consumers’ perceptions of such technologies, and furthermore to advise the agri-food business on issues that they should consider prior to the implementation of such technologies in their production lines. For the purposes of the study, a focus group study was conducted across 12 European countries, while a set of four different technologies used as a means to provide traceability information to consumers was the focal point of the discussions in each focus group. Results show that the amount of and confidence in the information provided, perceived levels of convenience, impact on product quality and safety, impact on consumers’ health and the environment, and potential consequences on ethical and privacy liberties constitute important factors influencing consumers’ perceptions of echnologies that provide traceability.
Keywords: Traceability, Consumer, Focus groups, RFID, Barcode
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