Food markets are increasingly characterized by an array of quality assurances with respect to credence attributes, many of which relate to agricultural production methods. A variety of organizations are associated with these quality assurance claims, including private, third party and public sector organizations. How do quality verifications from different sources affect consumer food choices? Who do consumers trust for assurances about credence attributes? This paper draws upon two recent studies to explore Canadian consumer attitudes toward environmental quality claims in a bread product and animal welfare quality claims in a pork product, along with attitudes toward quality verification from different sources. Analysis from two discrete choice experiments is presented, with latent class models used to explore heterogeneity in consumer preferences. The key message from both studies is the importance of considering heterogeneity in consumer preferences when examining attitudes toward quality verification. Both studies reveal distinct segments of consumers who have a high level of trust in verification by public sector agencies (government). In general, it was the respondents who exhibited the strongest preferences for the quality attributes who also tended to value public sector verification. Both sets of results also reveal a sub-set of consumers who tend to trust farmers, while both also reveal a clear segment of Canadian consumers who might be considered ‘conventional food’ consumers, with little interest in these quality attributes. Suggestions for further research are provided.


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