Food buyer willing to pay premium for greener, more ethical products

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 24th June 2009

Cleaner, greener, ethical, sustainable: these are demands of the new food shopper, according to an international expert on the food industry.Professor David Hughes, the keynote speaker at this week’s National Farmers Federation congress, told delegates that there had been a move towards seasonal eating, nostalgic foods and ethical consumption.

Professor Hughes, who earlier told the conference about Australia’s high standing for quality but limited linkage to specific products other than beer and vegemite, maintained that consumers would pay a premium for food and beverage products that are natural, ethically produced and made in a manner that benefits the environment.

“Those three elements don’t deliver you a premium, but they allow you to play in premium market spaces,” he explained, according to AAP. “It’s expected that they will be better for the environment, that they will be more ethically-produced, that they will be from natural ingredients.”

“The green bar, the sustainability, environmental bar, is going up.”

The celebrity push, from the likes of Jamie Oliver and Paul McCartney, would ensure the movement was not stopped in its tracks by a global recession.
“This is celebrity-driven and it’s been extraordinarily effective and purchasing behaviour has switched as a result,” Professor Hughes advised.