Catering to growing food demands, pesticides and other hazardous chemicals are being used excessively which is a global threat to the quality and safety of foods and agricultural products (Carvalho, F. P. (2017). Also, consumers’ concerns and their awareness of food safety, inclination toward organic food and environment-friendly food, and distress towards their health are increasing rapidly (Iqbal et al., 2021), but their trust in the quality of food is decreasing. Increasing awareness of consumers toward food safety has further increased interest in finding how, when, and where the agro-products were produced, handled, and stored.
Though information is available about some products, there is no proof or data so consumers are having trust issues. That’s why they are currently looking for reliable certifications and traceability systems (A. Zhang et al, 2020). So, transparency in the Food Supply Chain is an important issue that needs to be considered as it creates trust among all stakeholders, thereby defining and differentiating product quality.
To know Nepalese consumers’ preferences and awareness of the traceability and transparency of agro-products we conducted a quick online survey with 42 respondents. Individuals having access to smartphones/internet of different age groups with varying education and income levels participated in the survey.
20-30 age group preferred to know more about the quality and product history they consume daily. Nowadays, health consciousness and fitness are the main priorities of people, thus they want labels with proper information on agro-products. 75% of respondents preferred labels on their agro-products, while nearly 55% of them read labels, and nearly 62% were willing to pay extra money if they are getting detailed product histories like origins, input details, etc.
QR “Quick Response” codes have been widely used in multiple sectors, 60% of the respondents wanted QR code labels in agro-products as they can include information in multiple forms like videos, images, etc preferred by consumers. 70% felt that their distributors or producers are not honest and that’s why they preferred smart labels on agro-product. 92% of respondents wanted to know the production, distribution, and origin of agro-products.