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There is an increasing consumers' concern for food safety and quality and, at the same time, there has been a significant market increment in differentiated or high value products consumption, including organic products. The lack of empirical research in Argentina regarding consumers' awareness of food safety brought our attention. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to analyse consumers' perceptions about the risk and quality attributes of food consumption; and to evaluate the incidence of these factors when buying organic products in Argentina. The Lancaster model (1966) provided the theoretical basis for the use of products attributes and characteristics to analyse the incidence of these attributes in consumers' choices. The data used in this study derives from a food consumption survey on organic and non-organic consumers conducted in Buenos Aires City, Argentina, in April 2005. According to consumers' perceptions, 67% were worried about their health, 79% take care in meals, 57% perceived the high risk of hormones and pesticides in food content and 91% of consumers are used to reading labels before or during their purchase. A Logit Binomial Regression Model was applied to explore which factors affected organic food consumption. The results yielded by this model suggest that the consumers with higher educational level, who eat healthy food, and consider food control organisms 'inefficient' are more likely to buy organic products. A high percentage of consumers read and trust label information in Argentina. This has interesting policy implications to promote differentiated and high value products, and to reduce information asymmetries.


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