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Article
Author(s)

Brian J. Revell

Affiliation(s)

Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to explain the determinants of the fresh vegetables purchase decision by Chinese urban consumers in Beijing including awareness and attitudes to food safety, and their willingness to pay (WTP) more for specific safety characteristics when buying fresh vegetables. The research rationale arises out of a history of food safety scares and scandals in China, and a national government response to promote quality assurance and safety through labelling. The primary hypothesis was that an understanding of food safety systems and product labelling, and trust in supply chain integrity would be key determinants in consumer willingness to purchase and pay more for safety assured vegetables. Based on a questionnaire survey of consumers in Beijing, the analysis found that the major factors underlying the purchase decision of fresh vegetables were product freshness, convenience and competitive price rather than assured product labelling. The decisions whether to purchase assurance-labelled vegetables and WTP more for chemical residue-free product were analysed by binomial and ordinal multinomial logit modelling respectively. It revealed a WTP moreof between 20% and 40%. Monthly household income was a key determinant of both quality assured product and WTP, together with degree of concern over residues, trust in retailer and assurance labels and place of purchase. The results suggest much still remains to be done to build trust though rigorous monitoring and enforcement of food safety standards to improve supply chain integrity and consumer confidence.

KEYWORDS

Food safety, fresh produce, consumer preferences, China, logit modelling, WTP.

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