Practitioners’ perceptions of the credibility of food quality assurance schemes: exploring the effect of country of origin

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R. Wongprawmas
C.A. Padilla Bravo
A. Lazo
M. Canavari
A. Spiller


certification, country-of-origin, credibility, food standard


Food safety and quality certificates can be viewed as credence characteristics because different actors (e.g. intermediaries, processors, retailers, consumers) in the food supply chain are not able to observe the quality of the audits in situ. This becomes more critical in the international food trade as information asymmetries increase with time and distance and the credibility of the standard behind the certificate may decrease as a consequence. In this context, the aim of this study was to assess from a global perspective the effect of country image on the perceived credibility of food standards. Data were collected through an on-line survey during Spring 2010. In total, responses provided by 301 practitioners from developed and developing countries were analysed. Respondents were asked to evaluate the credibility of food standards from eight countries (Ghana, Italy, Australia, Mexico, China, UK, India and USA). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, independent-samples t-test and Mann-Whitney U tests. Principal component analysis was used to categorise groups of standards according to their perceived credibility. The findings reveal that country image exerts a significant influence on practitioners’ credibility assessments of food standards. Standards from the UK were perceived as the most credible whereas standards from China were perceived as the least credible. Based on the results of this study, we discuss some implications for food suppliers and policy makers.

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