Research carried out by WUR has shown that 'fair trade', 'organic' and 'sustainable' are important factors for a growing number of consumers. In addition to studying the impact of quality labels on consumer behaviour, researchers from Wageningen can help producers, processors, commerce and vendors obtain and carry these quality labels.
Pressure from consumers is putting agricultural businesses in a difficult position. Consumers want more information about the products they buy and are becoming increasingly focused on sustainability. At the same time, producers need efficient production methods in order to survive.
It is not only producers who are being affected by the increasing demand for sustainability; commerce is also feeling the pinch. Both sides are trying to fight the power of the retail industry. More and more of their products need to be certified to maintain their marketability.
Many products are processed in Western countries, but certain items need to be processed immediately after the harvest. Certification is needed to safeguard quality during processing.
Supermarkets, specialist stores, restaurants, catering establishments, petrol stations and care institutions all want to move with the market and give consumers what they want.
It is important that all the stipulations of a quality label are complied with throughout the chain process. Consumers must ultimately be able to see where their products come from and whether they have been produced and traded under fair conditions.