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Consumer expectations ‘too high’

Date Published: 22/10/2009

Interestingly, following on from the last post, a new Defra-backed report has emerged which suggests that shoppers have a perception of organic food and farming that is beyond the practical requirements of the regulations.

The study, carried out by the University of Exeter, reports an ‘expectations gap’ between the reality of production and processing and the knowledge and understanding of shoppers. Read the Farmers Guardian report here.

This is not entirely surprising and is the kind of communication failure that we all hope will be addressed by the OrganicUK initiative (see previous post).

Unfortunately, whenever we read something like this you can bet it will be spun quickly into a story about organics misleading consumers. Again, that’s probably our own fault as an industry for letting ourselves get into that position. Now is the time to take serious steps to address the problem. It’s a bit of a shame, though, that Defra will fund this kind of research, but doesn’t seem willing to find money for the OrganicUK bid to the EU to help us move on from the problem.