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The food quality labels: Awareness and knowledge of Slovenian consumers

corresponding

MIRA KOS SKUBIC1, MARIJA KLOPČIČ2*, ANITA ULE2, KARMEN ERJAVEC3
*Corresponding author
1. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, The Administration of the RS for Food safety,
Veterinary sector and Plant protection, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2. University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Animal Science, Domžale, Slovenia
3. Faculty of Business, Management and Informatics, Novo mesto, Slovenia

Abstract

Previous studies have rather neglected the issue of consumer knowledge of food quality labels. This paper aims to discover the awareness and knowledge of food quality labels most frequently appearing on the Slovenian food market. On a representative sample of Slovenian consumers (N= 650), a self-administrative electronic questionnaire was compiled. Survey findings reveal that Slovenian consumers show little awareness of EU food quality labels. Higher awareness of national labels was observed. Consumers with higher education and income levels show a higher level of knowledge of national labels for protected designation of origin (national PDO), as compared to others. Survey findings show that promotion of EU labels should intensify to achieve higher consumer awareness and knowledge


INTRODUCTION 

In recent years, consumers in the European Union (EU) are more and more critical in their food choices, showing an increased interest in quality differentiation and quality labelling (1-4). Food quality labelling has been introduced by different entities, policy makers and private food companies (2) so as to guarantee the quality of products in terms of composition, origin or method of production, and to help consumers choose quality food (5, 6).

Slovenian consumers are provided with numerous EU and national food labels designating the origin and quality of food products. In 2002, Slovenia developed an umbrella national scheme, a collection of food labels of different colours and of EU-label-like characteristics (7). Formerly, Slovenian food producers were required to produce a national registration for PDO, PGI or TSG and thereafter, an EU registration. 

As from 4 January 2016, the EU labelling of food products with a PDO or a PGI label has been mandatory (8). The EU Protected designation of origin (PDO) label and its national Slovenian equivalent (national PDO label) cover the agricultural products and foodstuffs, which are produc ...




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