Opening the black box of food quality in the short supply chain: Effects of conventions of quality on consumer choice

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84 Citazioni (Scopus)


In recent years new forms of food distribution organisation, known as short supply chains, have gained ground. The local nature of such distribution has positive effects on the environment and on the local economy. Consumers appear to trust the short supply chain, and it has achieved considerable success. However, the short supply chain has credence characteristics which, by their very nature, cannot be identified through a system of certification. The question we address in this paper is whether it is possible to identify the constituent elements of the credence trait in relation to food quality in the short supply chain. Our hypothesis is that the latter are linked to a range of socially constructed food quality criteria. To develop a more inclusive vision of how such criteria are coordinated in food quality assessment by consumers, use has been made of convention theory. In accordance with convention theory, quality is identified, in a social context and informally, as one of the spheres in which economic activity is regulated by procedures which go beyond regulation by price. The aim of our study was to measure the effects of coordinated conventions of quality in the context of one type of short supply chain: farmers’ markets specialised in the sale of organic products. An ordered logit model was implemented. Our results allow credence characteristics to be classified within conventions of quality and could help support strategies aimed at spreading sustainable forms of food distribution and consumption. Future research might go to the direction of validating our results based on a single form of supply organisation. Moreover, additional efforts should be made understanding the effect of situational factors on socio-demographic variables such as gender. Finally, an attempt should be made to merge different theories to better understand the issue of consumer choice.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)141-146
Numero di pagine6
RivistaFood Quality and Preference
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2900.2916???


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