The European Union (EU) regulation on mountain food products represents a great opportunity for beef producers in mountain areas, particularly as the quality-certified food has received more attention from European consumers in recent years. However, for a food-quality system-such as the European Commission's mountain labeling scheme-to be effective, the regulation standards must meet consumer expectations. In Italy, there are few studies on consumer preferences regarding beef and none focused on meat produced in mountain areas. To help fill this gap, this study assessed the preferences of Italian citizens for attributes associated with beef produced in mountain areas and contrasted the results with the EU regulation on mountain food products. Furthermore, factors that explain the heterogeneity of Italians' preferences regarding beef production attributes were analyzed. Data were collected online using a consumer panel, and a best-worst scaling method and latent class analysis were used. The results indicate that Italians expect mountain beef to be healthier and produced according to higher animal welfare standards. Such preferences reveal the existence of a gap between what Italians expect and the quality standards of the EU regulation on mountain food products, a situation that may jeopardize the objectives of the European Commission's mountain labeling scheme.

Assessing Italians' Preferences for Mountain Beef Production Using a Best-Worst Scaling Approach

Sidali, KL
;
Fischer, C;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The European Union (EU) regulation on mountain food products represents a great opportunity for beef producers in mountain areas, particularly as the quality-certified food has received more attention from European consumers in recent years. However, for a food-quality system-such as the European Commission's mountain labeling scheme-to be effective, the regulation standards must meet consumer expectations. In Italy, there are few studies on consumer preferences regarding beef and none focused on meat produced in mountain areas. To help fill this gap, this study assessed the preferences of Italian citizens for attributes associated with beef produced in mountain areas and contrasted the results with the EU regulation on mountain food products. Furthermore, factors that explain the heterogeneity of Italians' preferences regarding beef production attributes were analyzed. Data were collected online using a consumer panel, and a best-worst scaling method and latent class analysis were used. The results indicate that Italians expect mountain beef to be healthier and produced according to higher animal welfare standards. Such preferences reveal the existence of a gap between what Italians expect and the quality standards of the EU regulation on mountain food products, a situation that may jeopardize the objectives of the European Commission's mountain labeling scheme.
mountain areas
mountain products
beef production
Italy
best-worst scaling
latent class
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1083190
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