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Trust and knowledge in organic consumption

Thorsøe, Martin H.; Povlsen, Karen Klitgaard and Christensen, Tove (2014) Trust and knowledge in organic consumption. Food, Culture and Society. [Submitted]

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Trust and knowledge are two concepts that are considered important for understanding consumers’ engagement with organic products, but the concepts are often used at random. This article explores the configuration and generation of consumer trust in organics and investigates the relationship between knowledge and trust. The article is based on a multi-method study of Danish consumers’ perceptions of organics that included a consumer survey, a focus group, and individual interviews. The inquiry documents that Danish consumers’ display a high degree of trust in organics, and have overly positive expectations regarding organics, but know little about the difference between organic and non-organic products. Many respondents express no interest in acquiring additional knowledge, indicating that Danish consumers embody a blind trust of organics, but one that is also fragile because it might easily turn into distrust. Our results indicate that once consumers have decided to trust organics, they tend to seek confirmation of their belief and avoid conflicting knowledge that might challenge their decision. Our findings suggest that the general trust in organics is trumped by personal experiences and pragmatic concerns such as price, taste and appearance.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Surveys and statistics
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Denmark
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > MultiTrust
Deposited By: Thorsøe, Postdoc Martin
ID Code:27300
Deposited On:03 Oct 2014 10:52
Last Modified:03 Oct 2014 10:52
Document Language:English
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted

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