Producing and consuming organic food

Research into consumer perceptions and expectations of organic produce from the larger organic businesses and that from smaller more locally orientated producers.

Year of Publication2009

Organic farming is similar to conventional agriculture in that it is bifurcated in terms of production with the 10% largest farms accounting for over half of sales and half of all full time staff employed. Larger organic businesses are more orientated towards national markets and tend to produce bulk commodities. Smaller, more locally orientated producers are more likely to add value to their produce and to market locally. Consumers of organic food tend not to be particularly price sensitive and are motivated by health and environmental concerns and the desire to support British farmers. They are concerned with the freshness of the products and an expectation by some that they are locally produced. So there may be an ‘expectations gap’ developing between what is required for organic certification and what consumers expect organic food to deliver.

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