INTERACT researcher wins “Best Junior Paper” award in Congress
Researcher Susana Campos received the award “Best Junior Paper 2019” at the 9th Congress of the Portuguese Agricultural Economics Association (APDEA). The event, which also included the 3rd edition of Lusophone Meeting on Economics, Sociology, Environment and Rural Development, took place between 15th and 18th October, in Lisbon and Oeiras.
The researcher of the BEST (Bio-Economy and Sustainability) line won the prize with the article “Health values, food claims and the intention to use organic olive oil: An extended model of Goal – Directed Behaviour” co-authored by Carlos Peixeira Marques and Lívia Madureira.
Article gives precious contribution to food policies and marketing strategies
Currently developing her PhD thesis on Development, Societies and Territories at the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Susana Campos indicates that the research aimed to “analyze whether a greater concern of consumers with their health and food safety translates into the intention to include organic extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) in their diet as the main dietary fat, and to understand the influence of the multiple variables that intermediate this relationship”. These variables include “food claims” (such as reference to whether olive oil is “organic” or “carbon neutral”), “beliefs” and “emotions” of the consumer and “social norms”. This is the originality of the article. “The results show that “trust” influences consumer consideration of food claims and increases consumer belief in the food safety of the product” which, in this case, is olive oil, researcher says.
The results of the article are a valuable contribution to food policies and even to “producers’ marketing strategies, including companies, producers’ associations and the regions themselves”, as they “help to understand consumers’ decision making processes and the variables and dimensions of the decision where their marketing strategies should focus, as well as which differentiations are best perceived and valued by the consumer”, Campos explains.
The reason for choosing olive oil as a subject of study has to do with the increase in its consumption “in central and northern European countries, such as Germany”, as well as the importance of olive-growing in the region of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro. “It’s essential for producers to have information about what consumers are looking for in order to guide their production, marketing and internationalisation strategies”, he says, adding that the increase in olive oil consumption in the countries of those regions “seems to result from consumers’ growing concern about their health and the demand for healthy and safe food for their diets”.
The award represents “recognition of teamwork”.
The prize for “Best Junior Paper” was awarded by APDEA together with the company AGRO.GES (Sociedade de Estudos e Projetos) and had a monetary value of 400 euros. Factors such as “the relevance of the topic covered and scientific quality” contributed to the criteria of the Scientific Committee for seriation.
For Susana Campos, this award is a “recognition of the team work developed over three years” of the INTERACT project. “It’s important to feel that we’re making a contribution to the society in changing mentalities in favour of a healthier diet, using local products and produced in a sustainable way”, researcher underlines, who considers this milestone as “an additional motivation for this final stage of doctoral thesis delivery”.