A Matter of Trust: How Trust Influence Organic Consumption

  •  Sinne Smed    
  •  Laura Andersen    
  •  Niels Kærgård    
  •  Carsten Daugbjerg    


This article shows that trust in the organic label as well as perceived positive health effects of consumption of organic products have positive causal effects on actual organic consumption. Furthermore perceived positive environmental effects and perceived better animal welfare related to organic production are found not to have no significant causual effect on actual behaviour, whereas concern for artificial additives and low price sensitivity have. Even when differences in time varying attitudes have been controlled for there is still a rather large heterogeneity in the organic purchasing behaviour. Part of this heterogeneity can be explained by differences in urbanisation or level of education, while income does not seem to have any effect when education has been controlled for. The data used is panel data for 830 households reporting actual purchases as well as stated preferences and attitudes in 2002 and again in 2007. The results point towards that the most efficient way of increasing organic consumption seems to be to continuously increasing the trust in the organic label and/or to document the positive health effects of organic food by e.g. focussing on measurable things such as a lower frequency of findings of pesticide residues in organic foods compared to conventional foods.

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