Good, safe and fair: Quality perception and consumer demand of locally produced beef in Southern Italy
New Medit, vol 16, n.3, (September 2017), pp. 39-46
Jel classification: Q13, M21
The increasing concern amongst consumers regarding the safety and quality of the beef that they buy is the result of food scares that have characterized the beef market in the last two decades. These scares, together with environmental and ethical concerns, caused consumers to reflect upon the quality of the beef they eat. The aim of this paper is to identify which quality characteristics influence the incidence of local beef consumption on the total consumption of beef. It is assumed in this study that such choice is a response to a process of quality evaluation, which occurs combining specific quality attributes and socially constructed food quality criteria strictly linked to a socially fair dimension of local productions. Consumers who habitually purchase local beef at the butcher shops were the focus of our empirical strategy. Data were collected by administering a face-to-face questionnaire to 160 consumers in Sicily (Southern Italy), right after their purchases at the butcher shops. The results of this study suggest some implications in defining locally produced beef quality, making more accurate strategies possible when supporting the spread of production and consumption of beef at the local level.
local food, quality cues, quality attributes, conventions of quality, consumption