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China is a large consumer and producer of pork. However, pork is a common food that frequently suffers from safety problems in China. Thus, the safety of pork is of important strategic significance to China's food safety. The food traceability system is considered a major tool for the fundamental prevention of food safety risks. In this study, four attributes, i.e., traceability information, quality certification, appearance, and price, were set for traceable pork on the basis of previous studies. Levels were set for the attribute traceability information based on the major processes of safety risk in the Chinese pork supply chain. For the level setting of quality certification, domestic and international third-party certification was included in addition to government certification. Levels of price were set by appropriately increasing the average price of pork in cities surveyed in September 2013 according to the premiums that consumers were willing to pay for particular attribute levels in a random nth price auction. Based on the above experimental design, a survey was conducted in 1,489 consumers in seven pilot cities designated by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce for construction of a meat circulation traceability system. On this basis, consumer preferences and willingness to pay for traceable pork attributes, as well as influencing factors, were investigated using choice experiments. According to the results from both mixed logit and latent class models, quality certification was the most important characteristic, followed by appearance, and traceability information. In addition, “government certification”, “fresh-looking”, and “traceability information covering farming, slaughter, and processing, and circulation and marketing” were the most preferred levels of quality certification, appearance, and traceability information, respectively. Significant heterogeneity was observed in consumer preferences for the attributes of traceable pork. Consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay for traceability information and quality certification were significantly influenced by age, monthly family income, and education level. It is hoped that the findings of this study will provide a useful reference for the Chinese government in improving traceable food consumption policies.


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