Country differences in sustainable consumption: The case of organic food

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Abstract

In a sustainability perspective, consumption research has an unfortunate individualizing bias, which means that macro and structural causes of unsustainable consumption tend to be ignored. Hence, a comprehensive model of determinants of the sustainability of consumption is developed and applied on a specific case: organic food consumption. The analyzed data are published research on why consumer purchase of organic food products differs between countries. As expected, organic food's share of total food consumption depends heavily on political regulation, including legal definitions and standards, financial support to farmers, and a national labeling system. Other important structural factors are soil conditions, an effective and efficient distribution system, and the size of the premium price demanded for organic food products. Macro factors such as the food culture and the culture's level of postmaterialism and environmental concern play an additional role. The evidence suggests that, together, macro and structural factors such as these are more, and probably considerably more, important for the sustainability of food consumption than are individual-level attitudinal variables.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Macromarketing
Vol/bind30
Nummer2
Sider (fra-til)171-185
Antal sider15
ISSN0276-1467
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2010

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