An empirical analysis of producer perceptions of traceability in organic agriculture

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This study assesses producer perceptions of traceability issues in organic agriculture, using survey data from the 2001 National Agricultural, Food and Public Policy Preference Survey. The survey provides food policy and socio-economic data that facilitate the examination of traceability issues in organic agriculture. The logistic regression models that are used to examine the relationship between traceability and organic agriculture are robust across models. The models indicate a decreased likelihood for federal government intervention on the part of organic producers for policies that improve traceability from consumer back to producer to improve food safety and tracking. However, the results suggest that organic producers with sales under $US 50,000 are more likely to indicate some willingness for government intervention. The analysis also shows that producers want food products made with biotechnology to be labeled if there is a scientifically determined difference in the product. While education may be an avenue to facilitate greater acceptance of traceability issues, the results indicate a negative relationship between the acceptance of traceability and farmers with a bachelor's degree. This finding is surprising given the on-going debate surrounding biotech foods and traceability. Clearly the reluctance on the part of producers with bachelor's degrees to embrace tracing could hinder such efforts if those producers assume leadership positions in their communities. Perhaps such results are a reflection of the confidence that those producers have in the quality of organic produce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
JournalRenewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


  • Biotech foods
  • Logistic regression
  • Organic agriculture
  • Traceability


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