European Consumers’ Perceptions, Definitions and Expectations of Traceability and the Importance of Labels, and the Differences in These Perceptions by Product Type
Posted: 9 May 2012
Date Written: 2007
Given the heterogeneity of European consumers, it is not surprising that they have different perceptions and expectations regarding and understanding the concept of ‘traceability’. Consumers may also perceive traceability differently for different product types. The present study is based upon an analysis of focus groups in 12 countries across Europe. It explains how European consumers understand the traceability of food products as well as their expectations of traceability for different types of food product (meat and honey have been used as examples). Labelling schemes for these two types of products are also examined. The results showed that dissimilarities exist in consumers’ perceptions of traceability in different countries. Some dissimilarities also exist between consumers’ expectations of traceability and the information they require. However, labels are still seen as an important way of communicating with consumers, although the participants claimed that these labels need to be understandable and more easily accessible to facilitate consumer understanding.
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