Pre-certification or post-traceability: a study on consumer preference for food safety information label and their interactive relationship

YIN Shijiu1 WANG Yiqin1 LI Kai1

(1.Research Center for Food Safety and Green Development of Agriculture, Qufu Normal University)

【Abstract】This paper combines the advantages of the random nth-price auction experiment and the menu selection experiment. It takes tomatoes as an example and analyzes consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for food safety certification labels (organic labels, green labels and pollution-free labels) and food traceability information labels (planting traceability information labels and marketing traceability information labels), as well as the interactive relationships among the two groups of labels. It finds that consumers are generally willing to pay a price premium for these two types of labels. The provision of food safety certification and traceability system can significantly increase consumers’ WTP for organic and traceability labels, but that seems to have little impact on WTP for green and pollution-free labels. Different degrees of substitution exist among organic labels, green labels and pollution-free labels. A two-way complementary relationship can be found between planting traceability information labels and marketing traceability information labels. Finally, the study finds a bidirectional substitution relationship between traceability information labels and organic labels, and a unidirectional substitution relationship between traceability information labels and green labels.

【Keywords】 consumer preference; food safety certification label; food traceability information label; random nth-price auction experiment; menu selection experiment;


【Funds】 The National Social Science Fund of China (18BJY153)

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(Translated by PAN lichun)


    [1]. ① Data source: the website of National Bureau of Statistics of China ( [^Back]

    [2]. ② Data source: FAO website ( [^Back]

    [3]. ③ In the experiment, with the help of PPT demonstration, the uniformly trained investigators introduced the knowledge of food safety certification and traceability system construction to the participants. The specific knowledge is formed after the full discussion of the research group and extensive consultation with relevant personnel in the academic and practical circles. Readers who want to know more can ask the author for PPT materials. [^Back]

    [4]. ① The organizers of the experiment carried out 15 auction experiments (5 kinds of tomatoes × 3 rounds). In order to avoid the reaction-order effect, the auction order of five kinds of tomatoes in each experiment is random. [^Back]

    [5]. ② If a participant’s bid is CNY 0.5, it means that the participant is willing to buy 0.5 kg of pollution-free tomatoes with a subsidy of CNY 0.5 for 0.5 kg of conventional tomatoes, that is, the participant is willing to pay CNY 0.5 more for each 0.5 kg of pollution-free tomatoes than conventional tomatoes, which can be regarded as the participant’s WTP for the pollution-free labels of 0.5 kg tomatoes is CNY 0.5. [^Back]

    [6]. ① Due to the limited space, the sample of menu selection experiment taken in the experimental group is not given, available upon request. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3586/F

Vol , No. 05, Pages 127-144

September 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literature review
  • 3 Experiment design and econometric model
  • 4 Data source
  • 5 Results analysis and discussion
  • 6 Conclusions and suggestions
  • Footnote