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Why do (don’t) we buy organic food and do we get what we bargain for?

Hoffman, Ruben and Wivstad, Maria (2015) Why do (don’t) we buy organic food and do we get what we bargain for? SLU, EPOK – Centre for Organic Food and Farming, Uppsala, Sweden.

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The market of organic foods is expanding in Sweden and for further market development it is important to know more about consumers’ motives for buying organic products, and also the barriers for not buying organic food. To understand consumer behaviour is difficult, and is complicated by the fact that consumers may have perceptions of quality characteristics of organic food products that are not guaranteed by organic certification and labelling. The organic certification regulates the production processes, not the quality of products, nor the environmental effects. EPOK has initiated this popular science know-ledge synthesis to give an overview of existing literature on consumers’ motives and discuss to what extent some of these motives can be supported by scientific evidence, e.g. health and nutritional, environmental or animal welfare motives. The report is as far as possible based on existing international reviews, with specific references to some regional differences, including specific comments for the Swedish context. It provides an overview of some important aspects of the present and future development of the organic market but should not be viewed as an exhaustive review. It is concluded that some of the organic food characteristics behind these motives are well supported in the scientific literature, e.g. benefits for biodiversity and low incidence of pesticide residues in food, while other qualities cannot be considered to be clearly and consistently supported by scientific research. These conclusions set limits for how organic food could be marketed.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:Organic foods, consumers, consumer behaviour, consumer motives, social and environmental benefits
Agrovoc keywords:
Consumer behaviour
Organic foods
Environmental impact assessment
animal welfare
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Food systems > Markets and trade
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Sweden
Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) > SLU Centre for organic Food and Farming, Epok
Deposited By: Nordlund Othén, Janne
ID Code:29445
Deposited On:16 Nov 2015 13:13
Last Modified:16 Nov 2015 13:13
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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