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Consumer preferences and willingness to pay for beef food safety assurance labels in the Kumasi Metropolis and Sunyani Municipality of Ghana
- Owusu-Sekyere, Enoch, Owusu, Victor, Jordaan, Henry
- Food control 2014 v.46 pp. 152-159
- animal health, beef, beef cattle, beef industry, certification, consumer information, consumer preferences, developing countries, drugs, education, food choices, food contamination, gender, health status, income, issues and policy, marketing, meat production, nongovernmental organizations, nutrition labeling, packaging, trade, willingness to pay, women, Ghana
- The demand surge for assured food safety and quality in livestock products among consumers in developing countries in particular has been phenomenal. The present paper examines consumers' preferences and willingness to pay for beef food safety assurance labels in the Kumasi Metropolis and Sunyani Municipality of Ghana. Consumers' in both Kumasi and Sunyani mainly rely on beef attributes which assures them of their safety. Key attributes include hygienic condition of the shopping environment, excellent and attractive packaging that minimizes contamination, leanness and certification of beef products for safety and quality. Therefore, guaranteed food safety information and attributes should emerge as a new index and basis for future trade in the beef industry. Preference heterogeneity exists among consumers in Kumasi Metropolis and Sunyani Municipality for verified animal health status, food safety inspection and certification and nutritional label. Hence, it is important for beef investors, government and NGO's to segment consumers into different classes when designing strategies to mitigate unsafe beef production, marketing and consumption. Higher willingness to pay exists for verified animal health stamp in both Kumasi and Sunyani compared to assured nutritional label, food and drugs board food safety certification license. Willingness to pay estimates in Kumasi were higher for assured nutritional label, food and drugs board food safety certification license compared to Sunyani. Consumer preferences for food safety inspection and certification, and nutritional label are explained by age, income and education in Sunyani Municipality whereas preferences for verified animal health status, food safety inspection and certification, and nutritional label are influenced by age, income, education and gender in Kumasi Metropolis. Albeit the impact of gender and age are negative for verified animal health status and food safety certification license in both locations. Therefore, the use of selective demographic targeting to maintain or build strong food safety and quality measures should be seen as a reality by policy makers and investors in the beef industry. Minimizing microbial, chemical and physical food contamination and incidents of food safety in Kumasi and Sunyani requires adoption of strict certification and inspections starting from the health status of animals to be slaughtered to the final product with proper labeling information for consumers, combined with strict sanitary inspections at the shopping or selling place. Also, sensitization of women on food safety practices, handling and violation of food safety is very essential in Kumasi and Sunyani.