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Organic farming is a growing sector in Thailand. In the recent years a domestic
market for organic products has developed as consumers are more and more
concerned about the risks resulting from pesticide residues in vegetables. Growing
consumer concern for safe and healthy food as well as an increased environmental
awareness, especially in larger cities has shifted the demand towards alternative
health products. Different labelling programs for ?safe food? were established.
The research methods applied are semistructured
interviews with 7 key actors
involved in organic agriculture in Thailand which contribute to assess key aspects of
organic farming in Thailand and organic food purchases in Bangkok. The
assessment of consumer perception is based on 848 consumer interviews with a
standardized questionnaire in Thai language in 7 different supermarkets in Bangkok.
The respondents are divided into three groups: 40% have purchased organic
products; 26,9% have already heard of organic but don't buy organic and 33% of
respondents have never heard of organic farming.
The main motives for purchasing organic products are expected positive effects on
health and the lack of pesticides. As reasons for not buying the interviewees
mentioned not to know what organic means, being satisfied with safe products and
difficulties in finding organic products.
The results of this study point out a lack of knowledge of organic in general, about
the specifics of this production method and its differentiation from other labelled
products. Respondents do not make a sharp distinction between 'safe', 'hygienic' and
'organic' food. There is not much information available on the different labelling
programs. Although consumers are interested in organic products they are not able
to identify them, as they don't know the organic labels well.
Seit 13.01.2008 auf textfeld