oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - Perceptions and knowledge of a selected group of organic consumers in Bloemfontein, Free State Province



Organic agriculture is a production method that upholds the well-being of soil, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles tailored to local conditions. This descriptive study assessed the knowledge and perceptions of organic food consumers in Bloemfontein. A convenience sample of 60 consumers (male and female) was selected to participate in the study. A structured questionnaire was designed to obtain data at a local fresh-produce grocer. Most of the consumers showed positive and negative attitudes towards organic products. Most consumers had basic knowledge regarding organic products, but it also became evident that there was uncertainty surrounding facts of organic products, such as labelling standards. Only 12% of respondents interpreted the term "organic" correctly. Human health (86.67%) and environmental concerns (28.33%) were the key factors influencing consumer preference for organic food. Organic fruit and vegetables (45.37%) were the most popular purchased organic items amongst consumers. The majority of consumers (61.67%) stated that organic products are affordable. The results of the present study provided valuable insight into the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of consumers towards organically grown foods. The general positive attitude of consumers can be attributed to consumers' basic knowledge of, and preference for, organic food. Despite the organic lifestyle being in the minority in this region, there continues to be a growing demand for organic products in Bloemfontein, and for this reason producers have ensured a continued supply of organic products.


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