Fi­nal re­port


  • List of publications

Dur­a­tion of pro­ject

June 2007 to June 2010

Pro­ject co­ordin­a­tion

CORE or­ganic part­ners

„Farmer Con­sumer Part­ner­ships“

Research project within the framework of CORE organic


Globalisation and growing anonymity of trade with organic products causes farmers in Europe to see themselves forced to lower their production standards in order to stand up to world-wide competition. Furthermore consumers criticise food products which were produced under unsatisfactory social and environmental conditions. Thus, this project investigates marketing and communication strategies by which organic farmers try to include higher ethical values in their production than the statutory ones. The aim is to know which communication arguments for ethical aspects have proved to be the most promising from the consumers’ point of view in different countries.

In the first part of this project promising communication strategies and arguments of farmers’ organisations will be identified. Selected arguments will be tested in different regions by a so-called Information Display Matrix (IDM). With this tool the best ranked alternative product attributes and sales arguments will be detected. Advertising companies will then develop product labels and leaflets with information using the best-ranked arguments per country. Afterwards, different proposals for labels and leaflets will be tested in a two step approach with consumers by using Focus Group Discussions and a sales experiment in a so-called Consumer Choice Test. The experiment will be used to analyse consumers’ buying behaviour and willingness to pay by presenting real products in a close to realistic laboratory setting.

The results will provide a valuable tool for the strategic positioning of organic companies and farmers’ initiatives to differentiate their products from the mass market of organic products and improve their products’ image and the consumers’ willingness to pay. The results will also be interesting for policy makers to gain a better understanding of the country-specific attitudes of ethical consumers.