Purchasing decisions have a decisive influence on the demand for organic food. In November 2015, the «Biobarometer Schweiz» study (organic barometer Switzerland) surveyed consumers’ purchasing behaviour, using a standardized questionnaire. The aim of the survey was to investigate the factors determining organic food buying behaviour and to determine which aspects are relevant in consumer communication. The study found that Swiss consumers of organic products are significantly more likely to be female, have a higher level of education and in the majority live in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Consumers who frequently purchase organic products self-identify as being environmentally-friendly and are conscientious about eating a healthy diet and consuming little meat. In addition to nutritional motives, their purchasing behaviour is primarily influenced by altruistic motives; they also value the organic products’ naturalness and wish to avoid pesticide residues in food. In contrast, within each of the consumer groups, the importance of flavour and aroma for food purchasing decisions increases compared to other motives with decreasing levels of organic consumption. In addition to the sensory aspect of organic food, communication should primarily focus on aspects such as naturalness and environmental compatibility. The Biobarometer Schweiz survey will be repeated at regular intervals in future and will serve to identify changes in consumer trends.
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.
Despite the current challenges of e.g. the war in Ukraine and climate change, the Swiss food sector is relatively resilient. This is the conclusion reached by Agroscope’s report on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply.
The pandemic has influenced not only our everyday life but also our behaviour. Agroscope looked at which population groups and behaviours experienced or underwent particularly significant changes, and what this means for our health.