Consumer Perceptions of Agro-Food Products with Ethical Values in Serbia: An Exploratory Study
International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 3, May 2013, Pages: 153-159
Received: May 18, 2013;
Published: Jun. 10, 2013
Views 2980 Downloads 137
Driouech. Noureddin, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Italy
Capone. Roberto, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Italy
Dernini. Sandro, Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures, Italy
Berjan. Sinisa, Faculty of Agriculture, University of East Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
El Bilali. Hamid, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Italy
Radovic. Mirjana, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Italy
Despotovic. Aleksandra, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Podgorica, Montenegro
Panin. Biljana, University of Tuscia, Department of Economics and Territory, Italy
The renewed and intensified interest in issues of business ethics is typified by growth in demand of products encompassing ethical values such as organic and Fair Trade products. 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 exploratory study is to get an insight on Serbian consumer perceptions of agro-food products with ethical values (AFPEV) namely organic, Fair Trade and traditional products. The paper is based on secondary data 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 almost all the interviewees. Most of the respondents relate ethical values to the respect of environment and organic production. The main reasons for buying AFPEV are quality, organic certification and taste. Price seems less important. The main sources of information about AFPEV are mass media, newspapers and magazines. 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 and supermarkets 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 organized to increase Serbian consumers’ awareness and consciousness.
El Bilali. Hamid,
Consumer Perceptions of Agro-Food Products with Ethical Values in Serbia: An Exploratory Study, International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences.
Vol. 2, No. 3,
2013, pp. 153-159.
Gottwald F-Th., H.W. Ingensiep and M. Meinhardt, Food Ethics, Springer: New York, 2010.
Brinkmann J. and K. Peattie, "Consumer ethics research: reframing the debate about consumption for good", Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies (EJBO), 13 (1), pp. 22-31, 2008.
Micheletti M., Political virtue and shopping: individuals, consumerism, and collective action, 2003, New York: Plagrave.
Brinkmann J., "Looking at consumer behavior in a moral perspective", Journal of Business Ethics, 51(2), pp. 129-141, 2004.
Albaum G. and S. Smith, Fundaments of marketing research, 2005, California: Sage Publications.
Heberlein T.A., "Environmental Attitudes", Zeitschrift Umwelpolitik (Journal of Environmental Policy), 4(2), pp. 241-270, 1981.
Fishbein M. and I. Ajzen, Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research, 1975, Reading (MA): Addison-Wesley.
Aguer P., P. Burke, T.M. Devinney and J.J. Louviere, "What will consumers pay for social product features?", Journal of business ethics, 42 (3), pp. 281-304, 2003.
Chinnici G., M. D’Amico and B. Pecorino, "A multivariate statistical analysis on the consumers of organic products", British Food Journal, 104 (3/4/5), pp. 187-199, 2002.
Browne A., P. Harris, A. Hofny-Collins N., Pasiecznik and R. Wallace, "Organic production and ethical trade: definition, practice and links", Food Policy, 25 (200), pp. 69-89, 2000.
Bhaskaran S. and F. Hardley, "Buyer beliefs, attitudes and behaviour: foods with therapeutic claims", Journal of Consumer Marketing, 19 (7), pp. 591-606(16), 2002.
März U., T. Stolz, M. Kalentic, E. Stefanovic, and J. Vuckovic, Organic Agriculture in Serbia - At a Glance, 2011, Belgrade: Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Economic Development Program ACCESS.
Clarke N., P. Cloke, C. Barnett, and A. Malpass, "The space and ethics of organic food", Journal of rural studies, 24(3), pp. 219-230, 2008.
Maslac T., Organic Agriculture in Serbia, 2009, Belgrade: USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), Foreign Agricultural Service, GAIN (Global Agricultural Information Network) Report Number: RB9002.
MAFWM, Food Safety Law, 2009, Belgrade: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 41/09.
Maguire K. B., N. Owens, and N. B. Simon, "The price premium for organic baby food: a hedonic analysis", Journal of Agriculture and resource economics, 29(1), pp. 132-149, 2004.
Greene C. R., US Organic farming emerges in the 1990s: adoption of certified systems, 2001, Washington DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Yiridoe E.K., S. Bonti-Ankomah, and R.C. Martin, "Comparison of consumers perceptions and preferences toward organic versus conventionally produced foods: a review and update of the literature", Renewable Agriculture and Food System, 20 (4), pp. 193-205, 2005.
Harper G.C. and A. Makatouni, "Consumer perception of organic food productions and farm animal welfare", British Food Journal, 104 (3-5), pp. 287-299, 2002.
Alrøe H.F., E.S. Kristensen, and B. Hansen, Identifying the basic normative principles for organic farming, 14th IFOAM Organic World Congress, 21-24 August 2002, Victoria (Canada).
Brandt K., "Investigations of organic food and health", Innovations in Food Technology, August 2003, pp. 16-17, 2003.
Williams C.M., "Nutritional quality of organic food: shades of grey or shades of green?", Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 61, pp. 19-24, 2002.
Barjolle D., M. Estève, and A. Kuipers Description of "State of the art" of the theoretical approaches, methods, market and consumer studies already available for the Balkans, FOCUS-Consumer Food Science in Balkans, FP7KBBE2007-1: Deliv. 2, n°1.2: Nov. 2009, p. 23.
Brown C., "Consumers’ preferences for locally produced food: a study in Southeast Missouri", American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 18(4), pp. 213-224, 2003.
Davies A., A.J. Titterington, and C. Cochrane, "Who buys organic food? a profile of the purchasers of organic food in Northern Ireland", British Food Journal, 97(10), pp. 17-23, 1995.
Vermeir I. and W. Verbeke, Sustainable food consumption: exploring the consumer attitude-behavior gap, 2004, Ghent: Working papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University.
Zarić V., D. Petković, and M. Radošević, consumer perception towards traditional Serbian agricultural and food products, 113th EAAE Seminar, Dec. 9-11 2009, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Zemun-Belgrade.
Driouech N., U. Medicamento, and B. De Gennaro, Preliminary explorative research about ethical values and organic food consumption in Apulia region, South of Italy, 15th International BioL Prize, International forum: ethics and olive production, Bari (Italy), April 27-30, 2010.
Laroche M., R. Toffoli, C. Kim, and T.E. Muller, "The influence of culture in pro-environment knowledge, attitude and behaviors: a Canadian perspective", Advances in Consumer Research, 23, pp. 53-62, 1996.