Labeling, Certification, and Consumer Trust

Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 26)


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.


Certification Labeling Governance mechanisms Greenwashing Bluewashing Consumer trust 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Muhammadiyah at MalangMalangIndonesia
  2. 2.Center for Technology in GovernmentUniversity at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Management and PolicySchool of Public Health, University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and PolicyUniversity at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  5. 5.Tetherless World ConstellationRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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