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Consumer attitudes in North-west England to organic and regional food

Padel, S (2004) Consumer attitudes in North-west England to organic and regional food. In: Hopkins, A (Ed.) Organic farming: science and practice for profitable livestock and cropping. Occasional Symposium of the British Grassland Society, British Grassland Society (37), pp. 35-38.

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The market for organic foods in the UK is considered to be one of the leading ones in Europe, and world-wide is estimated to have a value of £1 billion (SA, 2003). The main reason why consumers buy organic food is considered to be health benefits, followed by taste. Of growing importance also are concerns for the environment and animal welfare, but these more altruistic concerns remain less important then personal ones. The rapid increase of demand for organic food over the last few years is seen to be the result of various food-scares (Farodoye, 1999; MINTEL, 1999; SA, 1999; Datamonitor, 2002). The development of the market appears, therefore, driven primarily by consumers, but retailers, especially the multiples, have had a key role in furthering growth, promoting products, increasing range and aiding farmers to convert. The majority of what are considered to be "heavy" organic buyers are in Greater London and the South East.
Organic farming is also frequently associated with the promotion of food production and short supply chains, i.e. consumption close to the place of production. This implies that organic food must be purchased by consumers in rural areas near to where most of it is grown, and last year the sales of organic food through farmers' markets, box schemes and farm shops reached a dynamic growth rate of nearly 30 per cent, higher than the organic sector as whole. However, most organic food in the UK remains purchased through supermarkets (SA, 2003). Consumer studies do not differentiate between urban and rural consumers, so that the available knowledge reflects general, rather than specific, trends.
This paper present results of a series of focus groups carried out in North-west England in the city of Lancaster, in order to supplement existing survey knowledge of consumer attitudes to organic food in relation to more rural areas and attitudes to organic marketing initiatives. The work was carried out as part of a larger EU-funded project on Organic Marketing Initiatives and Rural Development (OMIaRD QLK5-2000-01124), in support of a case study of one Organic Marketing Initiative in the region.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:market, food, UK, consumer, attitudes
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Food systems > Markets and trade
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR)
European Union > Organic Marketing Initiatives OMIaRD
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:11000
Deposited On:09 Jul 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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