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Abstract

In the European Union (EU), country of origin labeling (COOL) became mandatory in 2002 in response to the United Kingdom’s bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis. Although the EU has enacted one of the most information rich COOL policies for beef globally, little research has focused on origin labeling in the EU. Therefore, we determined how German and British consumers’ food safety concerns moderated their willingness to pay (WTP) for foreign (country of origin labeled) beef. Additional attributes, such as hormone-free labeling, quality assurance seals and promotional gourmet labeling were also analyzed. Random parameter logit model results indicated that British and German consumers’ WTP for foreign beef is moderated by their specific food safety concerns. For example, as German consumers are increasingly concerned about BSE, their WTP for beef from Great Britain was most negative. When controlling for consumers’ food safety concern in general, British consumers had the lowest WTP for beef from France, and German consumers had the lowest WTP for beef from the U.S. German and British consumers’ had the highest WTP for hormone-free beef. These results are informational to the international trade of beef.

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