Perception of Food Quality Labels: An Empirical Analysis Among Traditional Food Producers in Poland
Purpose: This paper examines traditional food producers' perceptions of food quality labels, indicating the incentives and challenges that food producers may face implementing such schemes. The aim is to identify the main factors affecting traditional food producers' adoption of food quality labels. Design/Methodology/Approach: The sample was composed of 101 traditional food producers in Poland that had completed the quality certification process. The survey was based on computer-assisted telephone interviews with closed questions (5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1-totally disagree to 5-totally agree). The interviewees were asked to express a judgment by declaring their level of agreement with the 19 statements. Descriptive statistics and factor analysis were used for data analysis. Findings: Results show that enterprises adopt quality signs to improve product image, reputation, and consumer confidence. The protection granted to food labels by the law may also exert effects on firms' profitability. Producers take advantage of food quality labels in different ways, according to their size and own business strategies. However, the emphasis often put on the positive effects of the food quality labels is far from its potentiality in many cases. Practical Implications: The study results will be beneficial to both food producers and public authorities seeking to encourage the application of quality labels in the traditional food sector. The identified benefits and barriers will help producers to adopt successful business models. The public authorities should make the certification process more effective and transparent, and promotion should explain to consumers what the food label guarantees. Originality/Value: This paper proposes several managerial and policy implications related to improving the business environment for the adoption of food quality schemes in the traditional food sector.