U.S. consumers are increasingly concerned about food safety, environmental degradation, and animal welfare at the live animal production stage. In response, meat suppliers are developing food credence certification to secure market access, increase margins, and increase overall demand. The objective of this paper is to characterize the demand and the market potential of a credence certification program for pork in the United States. Information regarding consumer willingness to pay for the conventional and certified products is derived from a latent class random utility model. The willingness to pay estimates are subsequently compared to the costs of implementing the programs at the producer, packing, and retailing stages. One of the findings in this study is that a significant segment of consumers would purchase certified pork at the anticipated marginal cost of certification. Therefore, future studies should consequently focus on the welfare economic implications on consumers and meat suppliers from incomplete adoption of voluntary certification programs on the part of both producers and consumers.
Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue Canadienne D'Agroeconomie – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2006
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