Market Research has been done to check the awareness of the organic products in the upper middle class. The aim of this research was to identify consumers’ attitudes towards Organic Agriculture, to increase consumers understanding of Organic Agriculture and to inform them the benefits of the organic products.
Agriculture has historically been the major source of livelihood to most Indians, as well as for food security. But particularly over recent decades use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and agrochemicals are becoming widely accepted and available practices which causes ill effects on human health, the environment and the ecology.
The widespread realization of the ill effects of chemicals has given rise to an increasing return to husbandry lead farming practices, combining traditional knowledge and modern technology resulting in what is now formally termed as “Organic Agriculture”; promoting environmentally, socially and economically sound production of food and fibers.
But there is vital need to understand the complexity of the inter-related reason why there has been little growth in the organic products in the market.
The market selected was the different areas of South Delhi such as Greater Kailash colonies, East of Kailash, Kailash Colony, Green Park, Golf Link, Jor Bagh, Lajpat Nagar etc because they are comparatively more knowledgeable about the organic products as compared to the other areas of Delhi and are more willing to buy the organic products.
The instruments used in the survey was the Kwik Survey website and the telephone to call the people individually with the help of the directory.
A sample of 50 people was taken who live in the different regions of South Delhi. These people were asked a set of questions according to which this report is formulated. In order to gauge the levels of awareness of consumers on organic food products they were first asked what they understood by the term ‘organic foods’. There appeared to be a significant knowledge about it. 2% said they did not know or were not sure what the term ‘organic foods’ means. Another 10% of the total sample said that organic foods were natural foods, 39% said that they were foods without chemicals, 30% foods not sprayed with pesticides, 2% traditional or indigenous foods, 7% foods grown with manure, while herbal foods, and healthy/nutritious foods were each mentioned by 5% of the total sample.
Secondly the consumers were asked their source of information on what organic food products are. Word of mouth, internet and health magazines came out to be the most common source of information across the different ideologies of what organic foods are. This is followed by television programs and radio programs. 48% of the people have said that the source of information about organic food products is through word of mouth while 33% have said the source was book and magazines and the rest of 9 % have said either TV or they are not sure about it
Consumers’ awareness on certain facts about organic products was also tested. A set of statements was read out to the respondents on the phone and they were asked to state whether or not they were aware of this fact.
68 % of the respondents have said that there are local standards for organic products, 76% have agreed upon the organic certification body in our country, 65% have said that the organic food products are recognized by the logo while only 30% have said that they are movements done in our country to promote the organic food products. This data shows people in South Delhi are pretty much aware of organic products.
Consumers consumption was also checked by asking them the questions that have they ever consumed or considered consuming ‘organic food products? 35% of respondents have said that they have consumed organic products while 45 % have considered consuming it. 13% people are not sure about the consumption while only 9 % have not consumed it. The above data showed that most of the people living in South Delhi are either currently consuming the organic products or considered consuming them
Those people who are either consuming the organic products or considered consuming are further asked the reasons for their consumption. Most of the people have said that they consume organic vegetable because it is healthy and nutritious. 9% people have consumed it because it is tasty while 56% have given the reason for their consumption as healthy and nutritious and 20% went with the environmental friendly as their reason and rest of 15% went with the safe to consume option.
All respondents were asked whether or not they felt that there was need for a verification system. Majority 69%, said yes and 31% said no.Overall, need for a verification system also appeared to be more important to the higher socioeconomic group.
Those who felt there was need for a verification system were also asked to state who should be in-charge of providing this verification. Majority mentioned the government (51%) Out of the total sample who felt a need for verification, 19% also said it should be provided by anindependent certification body and 18% said it should be done by NGOs working withfarmers. Other responses given were companies buying from farmers, 10%, groups of producers 7% and the producer himself 6%.
In order to gauge perceptions and attitudes, respondents were asked about what they overall think about the organic farming and products. 94 % people have said that it’s a good thing. 3% people have said that it’s both a good thing and bad thing. 1% people have said that it’s a bad thing and rest of 2% have said that they are not sure about it.
This data shows most of the people surveyed in the South Delhi consider the organic product as a good thing which fulfills the main motive of the research as well.
Thus a conclusion is established from the research done. There is very good awareness in South Delhi about organic foods or organic farming. Most of them know what organic really entails. When some facts are displayed to them it becomes evident by their own admittance that indeed awareness is high. Majority of those who are aware belong to the upper socio-economic classes. It is therefore surprising that consumption levels are modest as compared to the awareness.The major reason behind the modest or low consumption of the organic product are that products are not readily available and are high priced. Further people have doubted about the authenticity of the product which restricts them to consume the organic products.