Organic attitude

   
   
12 Nov 2008 10:35:00.000

PA 288/08

Are consumers under too much pressure to be healthy? Has the global financial crisis sidelined the promotionof sustainable food? And how much do consumers actually know or care about the subject? 

These are some of the questions being asked exclusively of people in Nottinghamshire in a major new study,by a researcher at The University of Nottingham.

PhD candidate Angie Clonan, from the Division of Nutritional Sciences, will send out 2,500 questionnaires in an unprecedented survey that will find out what consumers really think about sustainable foods.

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"It's accepted that food choices are difficult enough," said Ms. Clonan. "There are so many things consumers have to weigh up when food shopping, from cost to convenience.1

"Sustainability is justifiably important, but issues like the drive for more organic foods and ethical trading are placing even more pressure on consumers. For this reason it's important to find out what people actually thinkof sustainability in order to better achieve it."

The official definition of food sustainability - set out by Sustain2 - is food that is accessible, healthy,nutritious, respects the environment and biodiversity, promotes the use of fair trading practices and respects the rights of workers throughout the food-chain.

"Understanding sustainability is clearly important, and no less so than in food production and consumption,"said Ms. Clonan. "It is important to assess the environmental impact of various processes, but you can't do all of that without taking people's attitudes into account."

The research will delve into several key issues including the current level of awareness people have about sustainable food, the importance of socio-demographic issues, links between shopping habits and attitudes to sustainability and the perspective of healthy eaters.

"This is the first survey of this kind that takes as its lead people's experiences and views on sustainability. For that reason it's very important that people fill it in if they receive one."

The surveys will be sent out to a random sample of people taken from the electoral roll. One of the respondents will win a £100 Marks & Spencer voucher.

The questions are simply laid out and easy to answer. They cover shopping habits, attitudes, dietary information, shopping behaviour and socio-demographic information.

For more information visit: http://www.fcrn.org.uk/featuredOrgs/features/index.htm

To listen to a full University of Nottingham Podcast interview with Ms. Clonan follow the link below. The audio is available to listen to from the site or you can download it for free:

- Ends -

1(Luomala et al, 2003)
2The Alliance for Better Food and Farming (1998)

Notes to editors: For the full range of University of Nottingham Podcasts visit

http://communications.nottingham.ac.uk/podcasts.html

The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the ShanghaiJiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy) and was named 'Entrepreneurial University of the Year' at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

Story credits

More information is available from Angie Clonan , on +44 (0)115 951 6173, angie.clonan@nottingham.ac.uk
Andrew Burden

Andrew Burden - Digital Communications Manager

Email: andrew.burden@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8313 Location: University Park

Additional resources

Listen to the Podcast here

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