News yesterday from BBC says that some goods may be stripped of their organic status if they've been flown into UK. If implemented this will help clear up some of the confusion that exists in consumers' minds. Back in 2006, to coincide with Fairtrade fortnight, ERI conducted research which shows half of UK shoppers weren't clear about the differences between fairtrade, organic and ethical goods. About 5 in 10 people say they are confused as to what the terms mean.
That said, many shoppers think organic means 'healthier and better for people and the environment'. Not so, according to AAGill in The Times, but the Soil Association might disagree.
But consumers are still choosing organic, and in increasing numbers, although they see the irony when organic food is flown thousands of miles to their supermarket.
Our research clearly shows that the people who buy organic also want less packaging and locally sourced products. If advertising promises this, but the store fails to deliver, shoppers pick up on it straight away. One ERI respondent says, "It is bad when a company does a big ad campaign about local sourcing, then a visit to the shop shows they are not. Am fed up with veg from Chile, Morocco etc, not what they advertise at all."