In July 2010, a mandatory European Union (EU) logo for organic food was introduced to strengthen the organic sector by making the identification of organic products easier for consumers. The present study aims to analyse how consumers in five EU countries view a mandatory EU logo for organic food and to give recommendations for agrarian decision makers and market actors in the organic sector.
The study is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to provide a comprehensive picture of consumer views. Focus group discussions were conducted with consumers in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the UK. A subsequent survey with 2,042 participants was carried out to quantify consumer views on key issues and analyse country differences. Finally, the results of the qualitative and quantitative study were brought together.
While the introduction of a mandatory EU logo for organic food was generally welcomed in all countries, trust in the underlying production standards and the inspection system was not very pronounced (except in Italy). The authors conclude that the introduction of the new EU logo should be supported by communication campaigns to make clear what the new logo stands for and remove unfounded consumer concerns regarding the downscaling of standards and the trustworthiness of the inspection system.
To the authors' knowledge, no previous studies exist on consumer views on a mandatory EU logo for organic food. The recommendations drawn from their findings can help to reach the objectives connected with the introduction of the mandatory EU logo.
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