"Country of origin" as a cue for quality and safety of fresh meat

In this paper, it is distinguished between extrinsic and intrinsic quality cues and between eating (experience) quality and credence quality. Based on these distinctions, the economics of regulating cues is developed. The theoretical considerations are illustrated by the results of a consumer survey in several Member States of the European Union. In this survey, the extrinsic and intrinsic cues, the experience and credence quality attributes for fresh meat are evaluated by European consumers. In particular, information is presented on the helpfulness of cues for predicting eating and credence quality. The research clearly shows that the importance of the extrinsic cue "country of origin" as judged by consumers varies considerably between EU Member States and between the different meats. Furthermore, "country of origin" is regarded by consumers both, as a cue for eating quality and as a cue for food safety. Further analysis shows that those consumers claiming to be able to predict eating quality of meat from inspection in the shop are relying more on intrinsic cues, like "colour'; while the ''non-experts" seem to rely more on extrinsic cues and here in particular on "country of origin" and "place of purchase''. The theoretical framework is employed to discuss the efforts of the EU to support "country of origin" claims. Not only the PDO and PG/ are efforts in this direction, but the beef traceability and labelling regulation has to be added here. In particular the "country of origin" claims are discussed on the background of the aim of the Common Market to remove non-tariff barriers to trade between Member States.

Sylvander, Bertil
Barjolle, Dominique
Arfini, Filippo
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-30

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