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Exploring the Serbian consumer attitude towards agro-food products with ethical values: organic, fair-trade and typical/traditional products


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Driouech, Noureddin ; El Bilali, Hamid; Berjan, Sinisa ; Radovic, Mirjana and Despotovic, Aleksandra (2011) Exploring the Serbian consumer attitude towards agro-food products with ethical values: organic, fair-trade and typical/traditional products. In: 5th International Scientific Conference “Rural Development 2011”, Akademija, Kaunas district, Lithuania , 5, Book of Proceedings, pp. 37-43.

PDF - Published Version - English

Online at: http://www.lzuu.lt/rural_development/ltlt


The new Millennium has seen a renewed and intensified interest in issues of business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). This has been partly driven by a wave of concern about conduct and governance of business and partly reflects a growing interest amongst consumers, policy makers and businesses, in forms of production and consumption that are more sustainable and more ethically oriented. This is typified by growth in demand of products encompassing ethical values such as organic and Fair Trade products. However, research knowledge base about consumers and their behaviour and attitude from an ethical perspective is relatively weak. Consumer attitude to foods is mainly influenced by concerns (e.g. food safety, human health, environmental impact) and commodity attributes (e.g. quality, taste, freshness and packaging). The objective of this paper is to get an insight on Serbian consumer attitude towards agro-food products with ethical values (AFPEV) namely organic, Fair Trade and typical/traditional products. This paper is based on the literature and an online self-administered questionnaire, carried out from December 2010 through June 2011 with 104 Serbian adult consumers, dealing with understanding of and knowledge about AFP and relationships with ethical values; AFPEV buying frequency; main criteria and reasons for buying AFPEV; opinion about AFPEV price and consumer willingness to pay; potential impacts on animal health and welfare as well environmental, economic social and civic impacts of buying AFPEV; purchasing channels; and main sources of information about AFPEV. Serbian consumers have a good knowledge about AFPEV that are bought by 98% of the sample. Most of the respondents relate ethical values to the respect of environment (73.5%) and organic production (49.0%). The main reasons for buying AFPEV are quality (35%), organic certification (17%), and taste (15%). Price seems less important. The main sources of information about AFPEV are mass media, newspapers and magazines (summing up 46%). However, the majority of Serbian consumers prefer to get information directly from the supply chain actors mainly sellers and/or producers. AFPEV are bought mainly from the specialized shops (34%) and supermarkets (26%) to achieve personal satisfaction, for health, safety, natural resources conservation, and environment protection. Consumers do not always buy sustainable products as consequences of environmental concern or to benefit the community or due to personal beliefs but mainly to give priority to health. Ethical factors are important in some cases, but they may be overstated. Results indicated that most Serbian consumers perceived that AFPEV as healthier and portray a positive attitude towards AFPEV thus showing a high willingness to pay higher prices. Serbian consumers seem to have a positive attitude towards organic, fair trade and typical products due to the sustainable benefits that they can bring about. Therefore, institutional and domestic market conditions should be improved for insuring long-term market development and information campaigns should be organised to increase Serbian consumers’ awareness and consciousness and to strengthen their positive attitude towards AFPEV.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Serbia; Consumer; attitude; agro-food products; ethics.
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Surveys and statistics
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Values, standards and certification
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Italy > IAMB Mediterranean Agronomic Institute Bari
ISSN:ISSN 1822-3230
Deposited By: Dr. Driouech, Noureddin Ph.D
ID Code:20162
Deposited On:02 Jan 2012 08:55
Last Modified:02 Jan 2012 08:55
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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