Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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How do consumers assess the environmental friendliness of vegetables?
Article Type: News from the net From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 22, Issue 5
The assessment of a food product’s environmental friendliness is highly challenging for consumers because such an assessment requires the consideration of various product characteristics. Furthermore, products often show conflicting features.
A recent study used a choice task and questionnaire to examine how consumers judge the environmental friendliness of several vegetables. The consumers’ assessment is compared with lifecycle assessment (LCA) results, which represent the overall environmental impact of a product throughout its lifespan. In contrast to the LCA, consumers consider transportation distance rather than transportation mode and perceive organic production as very relevant for environmental friendliness. Furthermore, consumers assess the environmental impact of packaging and conservation as more important than the LCA results show.
Findings also suggest the current product information for vegetables is insufficient for judging their environmental friendliness. Implications for information campaigns and ecological food labeling are discussed. Further details can be seen at: http://eab.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/01/07/0013916510372865