Literature Reveiw About Ethics and Organic Food

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Attitudes and motivations that influence the selection of organic food among consumers

Adeline MariéSupervisor : M. Bloom
ETU 20030459


General Background4

1Market development and cultural factors.5
1.1Culture influences the food choice.5
1.2The level of development of the country market influences organic food choice6 1.2.1A cross- national study of Danish and New-Zealand organic consumers.6 1.2.2The moderators of consumption depend on the market development7

2The attitudes that influence consumer9
2.1Attitudes and the Theory of Planned Behaviour9
2.1.2The Theory of Planned Behaviour and consumers ethics9 2.2The TPB in the context of organic food consumption11
2.2.1The importance of subjective norms as antecedents of values.11 2.2.2The multivariate modelling approach of ethical consumer choice11

3The relationship between Values and organic consumption13 3.1Presentation and meaning of values13
3.2Exploring the organic food consumption towards the Schwartz Value Survey14 3.3Relationship between personal values, ethical ideology and ethical beliefs15 3.3.1Hunt-Vitell theory of ethics15

3.3.2Findings about the relationship between personal values, ethical beliefs and ethical ideology17

4Analyzing the organic consumers through their motivation and their socio-demographic factors18 4.1What are the main motivations towards organic consumption?18 4.1.1The health motives18
4.1.2The environmentally friendly consumers18
4.1.3The food safety18
4.1.4The taste of the product18
4.1.5The confidence on food industry19
4.2The consumers' profiles by countries19

5A global approach of organics selection by the consumers.25 5.1The Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ)25
5.2Studying the organic consumers in a global context.26
5.2.1Presentation of the research and general results26
5.2.2Discussion and tracks of explanation of the behaviour27

6Conceptual framework and propositions29
6.1The conceptual Framework29



General Background

Since the last ten years, the fastest growing sector in the food industry has been the organic food. Organic food are certified by labels that ensure that they are produced without pesticides and antibiotics and that they preserve the environment with the use of renewable resources (Organic Produce Export Committee, 2002, cited Lea and Worsley, 2005). In France, the AB label ensures that at least 95% of the production is organic and compels the producers to state clearly the origin and the method of production (CSA Agence Bio, 2006).

In France in 2006, 43% of the population has consumed organic product at least once a month which corresponds to an increase of 6% since 2003. The growth rate of organic consumption is about 10 percent per year since 1999. (CSA Agence Bio,2006). Abroad, the same phenomena occurs, and organic, even if it represented no more than 3% of total food consumption in Europe (Soil Association 2000, cited in Aarset et al. 2004) appears to be real trend that will growth over time. This mainstream has been strengthening by the BSE scandal and the controversy about the genetically modified food effects.

Regarding this postulate, researchers and marketers began to study the organic consumer in the late 90's. It is very important for food providers to understand why the consumers purchase this new kind of food. In our study, we chose to focus on the determination of consumers' profiles as well as their motives to act. Most of the studies we discuss emphasized on the determination of consumers profiles in term of socio-demographic factors related to their attitudes or motivation. But we can wonder if those factors are sufficient in order to give a global understanding of the organics buyers. The research problem is here to define...
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