All food sectors, especially meat production and processing, has been in the dock over the last decades. CSR is considered as a way for an enterprise to increase its reputation and safeguard against risks, e.g. food safety, environmental or social incidence. Thus, it is not surprising that CSR has gained importance for meat companies. However, the question arises whether consumers are indeed aware and appreciative of this involvement. This paper seeks to address these issues.
A convenient sample of 123 consumers was interviewed with a standardized questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive as well as uni‐ and multivariate methods.
The results show that CSR is hardly known by German consumers and only plays a moderate role in their present purchase behavior. However, consumers are interested in CSR and the survey results reveal a potential for CSR to become an important determinant in consumers' purchase decision of meat.
Concerning the interpretation of the results, there exist potential limitations that arise from the small sample size, the method of data collection and a social desirability bias in responses. Future research may analyze the role of CSR in consumers' purchase decisions using non‐hypothetical choice experiments.
There is scope for companies to gain competitive advantage by responsible conduct and by spreading information about that in a thoughtful and authentic manner. This holds especially for the area of animal welfare.
There exists little research that analyzes consumers' attitudes towards and perception of CSR for the food sector and no study so far has concentrated on the meat industry. This study provides information for decision makers in food companies and researchers interested in the impact of CSR on consumers' attitudes and behavior.
Hartmann, M., Heinen, S., Melis, S. and Simons, J. (2013), "Consumers' awareness of CSR in the German pork industry", British Food Journal, Vol. 115 No. 1, pp. 124-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070701311289911Download as .RIS
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