Publications

How Successful Is Origin Labeling in a Developing Country Context? Moroccan Consumers’ Preferences toward Local Products

Lambarraa-Lehnhardt, Fatima; Ihle, R.; Elyoubi, Hajar

Summary

The Green Moroccan Plan (GMP) is a national long-term strategy launched by the Moroccan government to support the agricultural sector as the main driver of social and economic development. The GMP involves a labeling strategy based on geographical indications, aimed at protecting and promoting the marketing of locally produced food specialties and linking their specific qualities and reputations to their domestic production region. We evaluated the success of this policy by comparing consumers’ attitudes and preferences toward a local product having a geographical indication label to one without. We conducted a survey of 500 consumers in main Moroccan cities. The potential consumer set for the local product was found to be segmented, indicating the potential for a domestic niche of environmentally aware consumers preferring organically and sustainably produced food. We applied the analytical hierarchy process to prioritize the attributes of the commodities of interest, which underscores the importance of the origin when choosing a local product without origin labeling; for the labeled product, intrinsic quality attributes are considered to be more important.These findings demonstrate the limited promotion of the established origin labeling in the domestic market. Hence, we recommend that the Moroccan government reinforce the labeling scheme with an organic label to increase the market potential of the environmentally aware consumers by ensuring sustainable production of local products