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Consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay for organic certification logos: Recommendations for actors in the organic sector. Report of the CERTCOST project

Janssen, Meike and Hamm, Ulrich (2011) Consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay for organic certification logos: Recommendations for actors in the organic sector. Report of the CERTCOST project. .

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Summary

In many European countries, a variety of different organic certification logos and schemes is found in the market. In the countries of the European Union (EU), the new mandatory EU logo for organic food was introduced in July 2010, so that other organic logos can only be used in addition to the mandatory EU logo. Within the CERTCOST project, consumer perceptions, preferences and willingness-to-pay (WTP) regarding different organic certification logos were investigated. The seven study countries were Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom. The overall objective was to give recommendations for actors in the organic sector regarding the use and promotion of organic certification logos.
Firstly, an inventory study was conducted in shops with an organic food range in autumn 2008 to get insights into the spectrum of different organic certification logos in the market and the extent of price differences among products with different organic logos. The analysis showed that the importance of different kinds of logos differed considerably between the study countries. Only a few significant price differences between products with and without certain organic logos were found.
Secondly, consumer perceptions, preferences and WTP regarding different organic logos as well as consumer views on a mandatory EU logo were investigated by a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of consumer research (focus group discussions conducted in spring 2009, choice experiments and structured interviews conducted in early 2010). The results revealed that consumers had a low level of factual knowledge about organic production standards and the organic control system. Nevertheless, consumers clearly preferred certain organic logos more than others. Different kinds of organic logos were preferred across the countries. In Denmark and the Czech Republic, consumers were willing to pay a considerably higher price premium for the governmental logo than for the other tested logos. In Germany, a high WTP was recorded for the logo of the farmers’ association Demeter and the governmental logo. In Italy, the old EU logo reached the highest WTP. In Switzerland, the logo of the farmers’ umbrella organisation Bio Suisse was clearly preferred. In Turkey, consumers were willing to pay the highest price premium for the logo of the certification body Ecocert. In the UK, the WTP was the highest for the logos of the Soil Association and the certification body ‘Organic Farmers & Growers’. In all countries, products without a logo just labelled with the prefix ‘organic’ were not trusted. The introduction of a mandatory EU logo was generally welcomed by the participants. However, trust in the underlying standards and the control system was not very pronounced except in Italy.
The report briefly outlines the methods and results, while the focus lies on recommendations for different actors in the organic sector with regard to the use and promotion of organic certification logos. To increase consumer trust in the new mandatory EU logo, it is recommended that promotion campaigns should be carried out explaining what the logo indicates. Regarding the investigated governmental logos, it is recommended that their use should be continued, at least in a transition period, since a high level of consumer trust in the logos was recorded. For organic certification logos of private organisations it is recommended that their use should only be continued for logos that offer a clear ‘added value’ compared to the EU logo.


EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:Organic logos, labels, Consumer preferences, Willingness-to-pay
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Research affiliation: European Union > CertCost
Germany > University of Kassel > Department of Agricultural- and Food Marketing
Related Links:http://www.certcost.org/Lib/CERTCOST/Deliverable/D33_D17.pdf
Deposited By: Janssen, Meike
ID Code:18850
Deposited On:21 Jul 2011 11:53
Last Modified:21 Jul 2011 11:53
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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