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Nowadays, the increasing demand by customers and consumers for information on food quality and safety determines, to a certain degree, the structure of the food chain. Traceability is considered as a tool to reach and keep consumers' confidence, which became a central issue to restore consumers' confidence in beef safety after the BSE crisis that strongly affected the EU market. Numerous researches have been carried out to determine consumers' preferences related to quality and food safety. However, the consumer perception of beef traceability has not yet been studied enough. In this paper we want to investigate the perception of Italian and Spanish consumers on this issue by analysing the results of six focus groups carried out in both countries, in the framework of an EU project (TRACE- Tracing the origin of food) funded through the Food and Quality Priority of the EU Framework VI research programme. The differences and similarities in consumers' perception are analysed on the basis of the different product valorisation approach followed by the national supply chain in order to promote beef quality and safety. Finally, the paper shows the necessity to organise the supply chain product development and differentiation strategies in a consumer - based way.


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