A View on the Uninformed Consumers Towards Quality Standards in the Context of the TTIP Negotiations

AGROFOR International Journal, Vol. 2, Issue No. 3, 2017

9 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019

See all articles by Katja Pietrzyck

Katja Pietrzyck

International Food Net Center; University of Bonn - Faculty of Agriculture

Nora Berke

University of Bonn

Julia Steinhoff-Wagner

University of Bonn - Faculty of Agriculture

Brigitte Petersen

University of Bonn

Date Written: October 10, 2017

Abstract

Radio broadcasts, TV shows and online media make a significant contribution to day-to-day consumer information and have a great impact on public opinion. The present study provides an overview of the German reporting about the quality standards of the agri-food industry in the context of the negotiations towards a EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). On the basis of a guided empirical content analysis, 436 publications released via radio, TV or Internet in the period from June 2013 to December 2016 were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. The quantitative analysis showed that the agri-food industry was generally of minor relevance in the coverage of TTIP, but focused mainly on quality standards. The term 'quality and consumer protection standards' frequently appeared in the reportings with the topics such as genetic modification, use of hormones, antibiotics or pesticides and the 'chlorine-washed chicken'. These are not standards for official definition of the general food law. It was established that all publications lacked information about specific standards. Thus, the quantitative analysis showed a superficial view of quality standards with only symbolic characteristics. The results of the qualitative media analysis indicated a negative picture of the effects of TTIP concerning the agri-food sector and its standards. Due to the complex structure of the globalised agri-food chains, the importance of comprehensive consumer information was highlighted. Overall, German media failed to provide scientifically based information. Unfortunately, they just highlighted the possible negative changes which could be caused by TTIP.

Keywords: agri-food industry, food safety, quality management, quality standards, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Suggested Citation

Pietrzyck, Katja and Berke, Nora and Steinhoff-Wagner, Julia and Petersen, Brigitte, A View on the Uninformed Consumers Towards Quality Standards in the Context of the TTIP Negotiations (October 10, 2017). AGROFOR International Journal, Vol. 2, Issue No. 3, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3381782

Katja Pietrzyck (Contact Author)

International Food Net Center ( email )

Katzenburgweg 7-9
Bonn, D-53115
Germany

University of Bonn - Faculty of Agriculture ( email )

D-53113 Bonn
Germany

Nora Berke

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Julia Steinhoff-Wagner

University of Bonn - Faculty of Agriculture ( email )

D-53113 Bonn
Germany

Brigitte Petersen

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

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