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The use of eco-labeling like initiatives on food products to promote quality assurance - is there enough credibility?

  • Helen Nilsson
  • B Tuncer
  • Åke Thidell
Publishing year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 517-526
Publication/Series: Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume: 12
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

The development of this paper was inspired by the increase in the number of different eco-label like quality assurance schemes established in the European Union in the past few years. These schemes are flooding the market and the researchers raise the question, is there enough credibility in these schemes? This piece of research is based on 58 eco-labeling like food schemes and dissects them into the building blocks of the different factors that makes a scheme credible and analyses the structure of these blocks as well as a literature survey on the perceptions of both the consumers and producers to these schemes. The sort of credibility structure that the building blocks of the schemes (ownership, stakeholder dialogue, traceability, transparency, etc.) have created was discussed and it was questioned if they meet the expectations of the consumers. The main findings of the research indicate that although small groups of consumers may be satisfied with a number of the different schemes, the majority of them fall short of providing a credible quality assurance scheme. Improvements were suggested such as involving a more diverse range of stakeholders and expanding the responsibility of processors and retailers. An alternative to the current form of labeling is also discussed.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • credibility
  • Quality Assurance Schemes
  • EU
  • food labeling


  • ISSN: 0959-6526
Åke Thidell
E-mail: aake [dot] thidell [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

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