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
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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.
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