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A research agenda for food integrity: From the perspective of European consumers

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn Frewer


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During the last decade, consumer interest in the attributes that reflect the integrity of food has been increasing. These include, for example, the geographical origin and the production method associated with foods, which indicate the authenticity of products and their ingredients. These attributes are usually difficult to identify by the consumer, and have not yet been systematically considered for compulsory inclusion on product declaration. Consumer interests are m represented by a variety of governmental and non-governmental consumer organizations, but the needs of such organisations are often neglected in the relatively few studies into consumer demands for food integrity. This paper attempts to remedy this lack by creating a practice-driven research agenda that is centred on the needs of consumer representative organizations; and by extension, consumers. A systematic review of the available literature was conducted to identify gaps, which are considered to be open questions, in the existing body of knowledge with regard to food integrity. In anattempt to prioritise these open questions according to practical relevance, we independently surveyed consumer experts and asked for nominations of what they considered to be the most important questions in relation to consumer expectations and information needs. The questions that were nominated were then collated and reformulated so that they were of a similar level of abstraction, and a larger sample of representatives of consumer organisations and consumer researchers were asked to rate the urgency of addressing them. In a final step, the ordered list of questions was cross-referenced with the open questions that had been identified in the systematic literature review. The result of the elicitation, rating and comparison process is a list of questions that forms a practice-driven research agenda, with 31 questions that could be divided into five themes: labelling; monitoring and controlling; food certification systems; consumer perceptions of authenticity; and consumer involvement.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Home R, Stolz H, Frewer LJ, Riedl J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: In Press

Journal: Food Quality and Preference

Year: 2015

Acceptance date: 15/12/2015

ISSN (print): 0950-3293

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6343

Publisher: Pergamon Press


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