Quality attributes and quality cues Effective communication in the UK meat supply chain
This paper develops a conceptual framework, based on quality attributes and quality cues, to demonstrate the necessary requirements for effective communication of quality cues to customers in the supply chain and consumers at place of purchase. The "perceived quality" approach to product quality is adopted and the links between intrinsic/extrinsic cues and experience/credence attributes of a product are developed. The framework is applied to the UK meat sector by considering which attributes/cues are altered by farm assurance schemes and, hence, which type of cue is needed to signal these attributes, and what elements are necessary for effective signalling of this type of cue. It is shown that the necessary requirements for effective communication of each type of cue (intrinsic and extrinsic) vary considerably. Farm assurance schemes are shown to affect credence attributes; hence extrinsic cues must be used to signal these standards. It is concluded that the credibility of scheme standards and inspections to those standards is of crucial importance for the assurance scheme extrinsic cue (certificate/label) to be effective in predicting these credence attributes.