Labeling, Certification, and Consumer Trust
Increased interest in ethical consumption has promoted the creation of incentives for product differentiation, which has been adopted by the market in terms of a variety of labels and certificates to describe a whole collection of product attributes related to health, social, or environmental sustainability. In this chapter, we describe and compare six coffee certifications in terms of their certification processes, governance mechanisms, and market penetration. Our comparison shows that leading certifications reassert their trustworthiness by emphasizing transparency, legitimacy, and accountability of their practices and governance processes. To demonstrate transparency, it is common that certification authorities openly publicize their standards and principles to demonstrate the transparency. To show legitimacy, they get accreditations from reputable national or international organization. Unfortunately, most of this information is not always at the reach of final consumers.
KeywordsCertification Labeling Governance mechanisms Greenwashing Bluewashing Consumer trust
- Büthe, T. (2010a). Global private politics: A research agenda. Business and Politics, 12(3), 1–24. http://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1345.
- Büthe, T. (2010b). Private regulation in the global economy: A (p)review. Business and Politics, 12(3). http://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1328.
- Carrington, M. J., Neville, B. A., & Whitwell, G. J. (2010). Why ethical consumers don’t walk their talk: Towards a framework for understanding the gap between the ethical purchase intentions and actual buying behaviour of ethically minded consumers. Journal of Business Ethics, 97(1), 139–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cashore, B. W., Auld, G., & Newsom, D. (2004). Governing through markets: Forest certification and the emergence of non-state authority. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Dimitri, C., & Oberholtzer, L. (2009). Marketing U.S. organic foods: Recent trends from farms to consumers (No. 58). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, United States.Google Scholar
- Duff, A. (2004). AUDITQUAL: Dimensions of audit quality. Edinburgh, Scotland: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Retrieved from http://icas.org.uk/res_duff_auditqual_report.pdf
- Ecolabelindex. (n.d.). Ecolabel Index|Who’s deciding what’s green?. Retrieved August 12, 2013, from http://www.ecolabelindex.com/
- Gibson, C. C. (1999). Politicians and poachers: The political economy of wildlife policy in Africa (transferred to digital print). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Hirschman, A. (1970). Exit, voice and loyalty: Responses to decline in firms, organizations, and States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Janssen, M., & Hamm, U. (2011). Consumer perception of different organic certification schemes in five European countries. Organic Agriculture, 1(1), 1–13.Google Scholar
- Kolk, A. (2010). Mainstreaming sustainable coffee. Sustainable Development. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/sd.507/full
- Mayer, F., & Gereffi, G. (2010). Regulation and economic globalization: Prospects and limits of private governance. Business and Politics, 12(3). http://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1325.
- Panhuysen, S., & van Reenen, M. (2012). Coffee barometer 2012. Report, The Hague, Netherlands. Retrieved from http://www.teacoffeecocoa.org/tcc/Media/Files/Coffee-Barometer-2012
- Pierrot, J., Giovannucci, D., & Kasterine, A. (2011). Trends in the trade of certified coffees (Technical Paper No. MAR-11-197.E, p. 17). Geneva: International Trade Centre.Google Scholar
- Polonsky, M., Bhaskaran, S. and Cary, J. (2005), Exploring the opportunities for sustainable food labelling : a supply chain perspective, in ANZMAC 2005 : Proceedings of the Australia and New Zealand Marketing Association Conference 2005, ANZMAC, [Perth, W.A.], pp. 184–190.Google Scholar
- RAN. (2012, April 11). The rainforest alliance demonstrates significant growth in 2011|Rainforest alliance. Retrieved July 29, 2013, from http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/newsroom/news/annual-growth-2011
- Semroc, B., Baer, E., Sonenshine, J., & Weikel, M. C. (2012). Assessment of the Starbucks coffee and farmer equity (C.A.F.E) practices program FY08 – FY10. Starbucks & Conversation International, http://www.conservation.org/publications/Documents/2012_04_CAFE_Practices_Assessment_FY08-FY10_Final.pdf
- Starbucks. (2013). C.A.F.E practices verifier and inspector operations manual – Starbucks coffee company (Guideline No. V5.1). SCS Global Service, https://www.scsglobalservices.com/files/cafe_man_verinsops_v5_2_010614.pdf
- Swaen, V., & Chumpitaz, R. C. (2008). Impact of corporate social responsibility on consumer trust. Recherche et Applications En Marketing (English Edition), 23(4), 7–34. http://doi.org/10.1177/205157070802300402.
- Weiss, J. A. (2002). Public information. In L. M. Salamon (Ed.), The tools of government: A guide to the new governance (pp. 217–254). Oxford, MA/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Wells, J. T. (2002). Let them know someone’s watching. Journal of Accountancy, 193(5), 106–110.Google Scholar