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Consumer concerns: Is organic food important in an environmentally responsible diet?

journal contribution
posted on 27.11.2018, 00:00 by David PearsonDavid Pearson
How humans manage environmental sustainability will impact the wellbeing of future generations. Research has been considering the environmental impact of consumers’ dietary preferences. This paper reports on the specific role of organic food in such choices. Results based on a survey of consumers (N=163) in Australia show that many want to have an environmentally responsible diet and believe that their purchases of organic food contribute to such a diet. When respondents were presented with 12 food attributes, 17% rated ‘organic’ as very or extremely important while 73% rated ‘quality’ as very or extremely important, and with the ten other attributes rating in between. Thirteen percent of respondents reported ‘never’ purchasing organic, while 2% responded ‘always’, 15% ‘frequently’, 36% ‘sometimes’, and 34% ‘rarely’. Of nine strategies presented to respondents for achieving a sustainable diet 3% reported maximizing their purchases of organic food, 17% of respondents reported avoiding bottled water, and the other seven strategies rated in between. Fifty four percent of respondents indicated a readiness to increase their organic consumption. One strategy for growing sales of organic food is to encourage existing consumers of organics to purchase more of these products. This may require focusing on promoting its superior health credentials whilst offering it at comparatively convenient locations and competitive price/quality relationships. In addition this research suggests that there is scope to jointly promote the co-benefits of other environmentally friendly dietary behaviours, such as encouraging reductions in eating meat and junk food, as well as minimising the amount of food waste.

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Volume

7

Issue

2

Start Page

49

End Page

60

Number of Pages

12

ISSN

1177-4258

Publisher

Journal of Organic Systems

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

External Author Affiliations

University of Canberra

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of Organic Systems