Public multi-criteria assessment for societal concerns and gradual labelling

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We present a multicriteria product assessment framework that can be used to rank existing products against hypothetical product scenarios. Products are ranked for Environmental Impact, Healthfulness, Naturalness and Fairness. Assessment criteria and relative importance weights are sourced from the public. The framework has been demonstrated for fresh tomato production scenarios. Results are valid because they correspond to public concerns, gradient to reward small production improvements, and relative to available product alternatives. Their interpretation can be normative with reference to existing production averages: without agreement on absolute acceptability thresholds. Data improvement agrees with rational stakeholder behaviour. Results identify technological applications of higher and lower public acceptability potential, for production and research agenda optimisation. Other producer uses include labelling and brand name protection. Civil society uses include the critical assessment of production. Public uses include labelling in consumer-driven markets, and smooth production sector re-structuring by incentivizing a race-to-the-top for production externalities of public concern, like the environmental sustainability or the fairness of production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages11
JournalFood Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • conjoint-analysis
  • ethics
  • trust
  • food
  • agriculture
  • indicators
  • framework
  • science
  • market

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