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Wrapped in the flag: food choice and country of origin labelling

Fraser, I. and Balcombe, K. (2018) Wrapped in the flag: food choice and country of origin labelling. Eurochoices, 17 (3). pp. 37-42. ISSN 1478-0917

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1746-692X.12189


Consumers are demanding ever more information about food. Research indicates that consumers value information that helps with making food choices (Messer et al., 2017). For example, consumers appear willing to pay higher prices for organic meat, and meat produced satisfying high animal welfare standards (Lagerkvist and Hess, 2011). Research also reveals high levels of consumer interest in country of origin (COO) information (European Commission, 2014). Yet, there is a risk that consumers may neither trust nor be able to understand the information provided. These limitations were illustrated by the horsemeat scandal in 2013. In December 2014, the EU introduced the Food Information to Consumers (FIC) legislation (Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011) extending the products requiring mandatory COO labelling (COOL). Ironically, at the same time as the use of mandatory COOL for many types of meat was being considered, the one type of meat covered by existing mandatory COOL prior to the horsemeat scandal, beef, was the meat being illegally substituted in the horsemeat scandal. The article examines the provision of information through labelling, with a particular focus on COOL. We consider how COO might be provided to avoid food fraud such as origin misrepresentation, and what information needs to be given to consumers so that they know and trust what COO means.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:76744


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