Consumers’ perceptions of food fraud in selected Southeast Asian countries: A cross sectional study

Soon-Sinclair, Jan Mei orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0488-1434, Ha, Thanh Mai, Vanany, Iwan, Limon, Mark Raguindin, Sirichokchatchawan, Wandee, Wahab, Ikarastika Rahayu Abdul, Hamdan, Ruhil Hayati and Jamaludin, Mohd Hafiz (2023) Consumers’ perceptions of food fraud in selected Southeast Asian countries: A cross sectional study. Food Security . ISSN 1876-4517

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Southeast Asia is projected to be the fourth largest economy in 2050, where agriculture and food are key sectors contributing to the regional’s GDP. However, ensuring food safety and traceability remains a challenge in the region and this offers ripe opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of the system. This study aims to provide an overview of consumers’ concern about food fraud in selected countries in Southeast Asia. A cross-sectional online survey was implemented in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, yielding 1393 valid responses. Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) was conducted first to reduce the large dataset containing nominal variables. After that, ordered logistic regression was performed to predict food fraud concern, with independent variables being dimensions derived from MCA, total knowledge and experience, and demographic characteristics. We found that respondents from Vietnam and Malaysia were significantly more worried about food fraud compared to other countries. Concerns about food fraud were influenced by increased demand for food fraud control, perceived risks of different types of food fraud, information sources from media and personal networks, information sources from credible organisations, and self-experience of food fraud. Practical and policy recommendations for the region were suggested. This is the first empirical study on consumers’ concern about food fraud in Southeast Asia. The study embodies the UK Global Food Security and UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 2 ethos of providing the growing global population with access to safe food.

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