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Empirical research of attitudes towards organic food among Croatian consumers

Brčić-Stipčević, Vesna; Petljak, Kristina and Guszak, Irena (2011) Empirical research of attitudes towards organic food among Croatian consumers. In: Afrić Rakitovac, Kristina; Šugar, Violeta and Bevanda, Vanja (Eds.) Conference Proceedings of the 5th International Scientific Conference "Entrepreneurship and Macroeconomic Management: Reflections on the World in Turmoil", Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Department of Economics and Tourism "Dr. Mijo Mirković", Croatia, 2, pp. 1376-1405.

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Organic agriculture is a holistic production system, which sustains the natural soil activity, ecosystem and people. This new system is an answer by organic producers to unsustainability of capital intensive agriculture, characterized by mass production, specialization, product standardization and high labour productivity that results in a weaker relation of agriculture to natural conditions and many negative consequences, especially in ecological, social and economic spheres. Development of organic production enabled development of the organic food market. Another incentive for organic food market development is consumers’ increased interest in nutrition, health and environment protection. The first segment of this paper will present an overview of research related to definitions and perceptions of organic food. The second segment will present the empirical research of Croatian consumer's perception of organic food. Most research participants are familiar with the term ‘organic food’, mainly participants from the north of Croatia. Our research results are in alignment with findings published in literature worldwide and indicate that the most familiar with organic food are participants with at least college education and those with higher monthly incomes. The study also investigated whether consumers understand the definition of organic food and where from do they get information about it. Most of research participants think of organic food as of products produced without use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, genetically modified organisms and other chemical additives. That is incorrect and indicates that consumers are not sufficiently informed about organic production and that the promotion of organic products is insufficient. In addition, paper compares consumer's perception of organic products and the conventional ones. The research findings indicate that consumers acknowledge the difference between organic and conventional products and find organic food healthier, tastier and more expensive than the conventional food. Finally, this paper contributes to the organic food literature by presenting findings from Croatian market and enabling comparison of organic food perceptions in Croatia with other markets. The research reveals new information necessary for evaluation of organic food market potential in Croatia, relevant for both producers and retailers.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:organic food, consumer behaviour, empirical research, Croatia
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Surveys and statistics
Food systems > Markets and trade
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions
Research affiliation: Croatia
Deposited By: Petljak, Ms. Kristina
ID Code:22456
Deposited On:14 May 2013 15:04
Last Modified:14 May 2013 15:08
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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