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Food safety and consumer willingness to pay for certified traceable food in China

Food safety and consumer willingness to pay for certified traceable food in China

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 90(8): 1368-1373

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-5142

PMID: 20474057

DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.3985

The September 2008 melamine outbreak in China has adversely affected perceptions of food safety among consumers. This paper presents a survey of the perception of food safety and willingness to pay for certified traceable (CT) food among the citizens of Jiangsu Province. It presents the critical necessity of establishing a food traceability system (FTS) to address possible similar outbreaks in the future. The results show that 36% of the respondents are strongly dissatisfied with food safety conditions in the province. Only 37% of the respondents have heard of FTS. Among the respondents who chose to buy CT food, 32% were unwilling to shoulder the extra cost. The consumers' overall satisfaction with food safety, awareness of FTS, gender, age, educational level and income are the main determinants of Chinese consumers' willingness to pay for CT food. Based on the results, it is proposed that the Chinese government pay attention to the mentality of its citizens when establishing an FTS and take measures to lift consumers' willingness to pay for CT food. Results of this study will provide valuable insights to developing countries.

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Accession: 053278046

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