Agriculture Press Release
January 30, 2003
Bronson reports of survey showing consumer concern about country of origin
TALLAHASSEE -- With threats of bio-terrorism around the globe, a recent national survey confirms that consumers want to see the country of origin listed on fresh fruits and vegetables, and that they are willing to pay more for produce grown in the United States. Armed with this new information on consumer attitudes toward labeling, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson will attend the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s Mid-year Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., on January 31.
According to the survey:
· If the country of origin was clearly identified on fruits and vegetables, 37 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay between 10 and 20 percent more for the same produce.
· More than two-thirds of consumers at least sometimes notice the country where fresh produce is grown. One-third notices the produce’s country of origin “always” or “often.”
· 56 percent of consumers think that produce grown in the United States is safer than imported produce.
· 41 percent rate U.S.-grown produce as being of higher quality than imported produce.
· If price and appearance were equal, 61 percent of consumers would select U.S.-grown produce.
· 62 percent would purchase U.S. produce if it had a logo or label identifying its country of origin.
· When evaluating factors that influenced their purchase of U.S.-grown produce, consumers ranked safety higher than price or health.
· 30 percent of consumers would prefer to see the country of origin indicated on a sticker on the item; 27 percent preferred a display sign; 41 percent preferred both.
Highlights and graphs of the survey data can be viewed at florida-agriculture.com.
Nelson Pugh, Director of Marketing for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said the survey was designed to assist policymakers in formulating strategies to effectively incorporate point-of-origin information into the marketplace.
Click here to view country of origin national survey
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