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Consumer perceptions of organic foods in Bangkok, Thailand

  • Roitner-Schobesberger, Birgit
  • Darnhofer, Ika
  • Somsook, Suthichai
  • Vogl, Christian R.
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    In response to food scares related to high levels of pesticide residues sometimes found on vegetables and fruits, consumers in Thailand increasingly demand 'safe' foods. This has resulted in a number of initiatives and labels indicating 'pesticide safe' vegetables. However, the pesticide-residue problem has proved enduring. This opens a market opportunity for organic foods, which are produced entirely without using synthetic chemicals. As little is known on consumer perception of organic foods in Thailand, a survey was conducted in Bangkok. More than a third of the 848 respondents reported having purchased organic vegetables or fruits in the past. The main reasons for purchasing organic products are that consumers expect them to be healthier, that organic products are environmentally friendly. The respondents who have bought organic vegetables tend to be older, have a higher education level and a higher family income than those who have not bought them. The main barrier to increasing the market share of organic vegetables is that consumers do not clearly differentiate between the various 'pesticide safe' labels and the organic labels. Informing consumers about unique characteristics of organic production methods, the strict inspection and required third party certification might be a promising strategy to develop the market for organic vegetables in Thailand's urban centers.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 112-121

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:2:p:112-121
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    1. Barrett, H. R. & Browne, A. W. & Harris, P. J. C. & Cadoret, K., 2002. "Organic certification and the UK market: organic imports from developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 301-318, August.
    2. Batte, Marvin T. & Hooker, Neal H. & Haab, Timothy C. & Beaverson, Jeremy, 2007. "Putting their money where their mouths are: Consumer willingness to pay for multi-ingredient, processed organic food products," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 145-159, April.
    3. Gary D. Thompson, 1998. "Consumer Demand for Organic Foods: What We Know and What We Need to Know," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1113-1118.
    4. Veeck, Ann & Veeck, Gregory, 2000. "Consumer Segmentation and Changing Food Purchase Patterns in Nanjing, PRC," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 457-471, March.
    5. Klaus G. Grunert, 2005. "Food quality and safety: consumer perception and demand," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 369-391, September.
    6. JoAnn Jaffe & Michael Gertler, 2006. "Victual Vicissitudes: Consumer Deskilling and the (Gendered) Transformation of Food Systems," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 143-162, 06.
    7. Lohr, Luanne, 2001. "Factors Affecting International Demand And Trade In Organic Food Products," Faculty Series 16674, University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
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