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Consumers’ familiarity with and attitudes towards food quality certifications for rice and vegetables in Vietnam

My, Nguyen H.D., Rutsaert, Pieter, Van Loo, Ellen J., Verbeke, Wim
Food control 2017 v.82 pp. 74-82
HACCP, certification, consumer attitudes, consumer surveys, developing countries, food choices, food quality, good agricultural practices, healthy diet, issues and policy, marketing, organic foods, rice, urban areas, vegetables, Vietnam
This study investigates consumers’ attitudes towards, and familiarity with, food quality certification in selected urban areas in the South of Vietnam. Cross-sectional data were collected by means of a consumer survey (n = 500). Consumers’ awareness of food quality-related terms was relatively low. Less than half the participants claimed to understand the meaning of good agricultural practices (GAP), organic food and sustainability. Consumers’ familiarity with food quality certification (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP), Global Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBALG.A.P.), organic, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)) was also low. Familiarity with food quality certification was positively associated with general attitude and food choice motives, namely food safety concern, perceived importance of healthy eating, and perceived importance of environmental consequences relating to food purchase. Food safety concern and perceived importance of environmental consequences were positively associated with consumers’ attitudes towards safe vegetables, as well as high quality rice. Perceived importance of healthy eating was positively related to attitude towards high quality rice. Findings suggest that food safety aspects of safe vegetables and high quality rice should be emphasized during policy and marketing activities for food quality certification. Additionally, an increase in the perceived importance of environmental consequences relating to quality food purchase should be encouraged to enhance positive consumer attitudes towards quality food. Efforts to improve public awareness and knowledge of food quality certification and sustainable agricultural practices in developing countries such as Vietnam are highly recommended.