The Role of Specific Quality Labels in Rural Development: Lessons from the Portuguese Experience

Recently increasing consumers’ demand towards quality and safety of food products as well as the desire for cultural identification have generated the demand for higher quality and higher status agricultural products, but have also created the market for value added products that carry a strong identification with the particular region of origin (Loureiro and McCluskey, 2000). Indeed, the consumer survey undertaken within Project AGRO 422 in order to explore Portuguese consumer behaviour towards beef showed that besides high valorisation of intrinsic beef attributes, such as freshness, appearance, and tenderness, Portuguese consumers regard certified beef and origin as highly important, trusting more in domestic beef, produced in accordance with proper animal feed and animal welfare (Banovic et al., 2006). The demand for higher dietary, health and safety standards in beef, but also for certification and reassurance of beef’s origins and production methods, were addressed through using the tools like labelling and traceability of food products as well as differentiation of meat products, at the level of eating quality, health, and convenience, and process characteristics. The strategy of production of differentiated beef, that might be sought by the Portuguese consumers, because of its typicality, health quality, and environmental consciousness, is also particularly suited for less-favoured areas, where large areas of Portugal are included, and may be seen as a comparative advantage that influence the rural development of these regions.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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