home    about    browse    search    latest    help 
Login | Create Account

Improving quality and safety and reduction of cost in the European organic and “low input” food supply chains: Subproject 1: Determining consumer expectations and attitudes towards organic/low input food quality and safety

{Project} EU-QLIF: Consumer: Improving quality and safety and reduction of cost in the European organic and “low input” food supply chains: Subproject 1: Determining consumer expectations and attitudes towards organic/low input food quality and safety. Runs 2004 - 2008. Project Leader(s): Richter, Toralf and Hanna, Stolz, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), CH-5070 Frick .

Full text not available from this repository.

Document available online at: http://www.fibl.org/de/schweiz/forschung/soziooekonomie.html


State of the Art:
Consumer expectation, attitudes and perception about organic foods have or are currently being studied. The EU-project OMIaRD project has produced the most comprehensive statistics so far on the scope and dimensions of the organic market in Europe and will shortly provide more detailed insights from focus group and laddering interviews with regular and occasional consumers. Data sets are or will be soon available from survey based studies in several EU countries. However, it is currently difficult to compare consumer surveys from different EU-countries because a range of different questionnaires/survey approaches is used.
Definition of the problem:
Recent scientific studies and information from major retail chains indicate that the attitudes and expectations of consumers towards foods (those expressed in quantitative questionnaire based surveys), may differ from their actual buying behaviour. It has been suggested, that this is due to the higher price, not being offset by a sufficiently high value given to quality and safety benefits (perceived and actual) associated with such foods. On the other hand, the example of baby food market (where up to 80% of the total retail sales is now “organic”) shows the great potential for expanding the market for organic and “low input” foods.
The survey methods and questionnaires used were developed and focus on “quality and safety” characteristics known to be recognised by consumers of conventional foods (e.g. appearance, taste, packaging, microbiological safety and production or trade system associated quality benefits such as “free range”, “GM-free” and “fair trade”). Many of these characteristics are also important for organic consumers, and for example surveys have confirmed that consumers buy organic food because they perceive it as ”healthier”, “tastier”, “GM-free”, “animal welfare focused”, and/or “protective of the environment and biodiversity”. Also, surveys indicated that there are relative differences in the ranking of these characteristics between EU-countries.
However, a range of other quality characteristics/parameters, which are thought to influence the buying behaviour of consumers of “low input” and/or organic foods, have rarely been included in existing questionnaires. Parameters that were often insufficiently covered include proximity of production (imports, country of origin, regional food, locally produced), specific animal welfare standards (e.g. livestock standards prescribing different levels of access to the outside) and/or nutritional benefits associated with different levels of processing of foods (e.g. pasteurisation, homogenisation and/or filtration of milk; use or non-use of specific crop protection strategies).
Furthermore, little detailed information is available of the actual evolution of buying behaviour of consumers of organic and “low input” foods. There is also little quantitative knowledge about the effect of changes in knowledge levels and perceptions of quality and safety benefits on consumer decision making.
Project aims including target group:
Project aims:
- to identify and explain differences and similarities between EU countries with respect to consumers expectations and attitudes concerning the quality and safety of organic and “low input” foods
- to Identify important “quality and safety” characteristics recognised by consumers of organic and “low input” foods that are not currently addressed in consumer surveys
- to conduct a quantitative European consumer survey about attitudes to organic food
- to determine actual consumer buying pattern behaviour through consumer choice tests
- to determine potential future trends in consumer buying behaviour through detailed semi-quantitative/structured consumer interviews (consumer narratives). This is also expected - to allow the evolution of consumer buying behaviour to be correlated to changes in knowledge levels and perceptions of consumers about organic and “low input” foods.
- Analysis of implications for future demand
Target group: Policy and market actors
Different methods of quantitative and qualitative consumer surveys are conducted.

Summary translation

Involved organisations, project partners:
-University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK)
-University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UK)
-University of Kassel (DE)
-Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Toulouse (FR)
-Universita Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona (IT)
-Groupe de Recherche et d’Echanges Technologiques, Paris (FR)
-Danish Research Centre for Organic Farmind/Danish Insitute of Agricultural Sciences (DK)
Responsible institution:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne

EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:Consumer behaviour, low input food consumption, organic food consumption, Markt, QLIF, consumer
Subjects: Food systems > Markets and trade
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Rural sociology
Research funders: European Union > Other projects, departments, etc.
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/english/research/socio-economics/index.php, https://orgprints.org/perl/search/advanced?keywords=Markt%2C+QLIF%2C+consumer&keywords_merge=ALL&projects=fibl-socio-economics &projects_merge=ANY&_satisfyall=ALL&_order=byname&_action_search=Search
Acronym:EU-QLIF: Consumer
Project ID:506358, SÖ 3.3
Start Date:1 January 2004
End Date:31 December 2008
Deposited By: Richter, Dr. Toralf
ID Code:6218
Deposited On:22 Nov 2005
Last Modified:16 Mar 2022 13:54
Document Language:German/Deutsch
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

Repository Staff Only: item control page