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Attitudinal inconsistency toward organic food in relation to purchasing intention and behavior: An illustration of Taiwan consumers

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Purpose ‐ This study aims to examine the attitudinal inconsistency among Taiwanese consumers toward organic agriculture/food, and its relationship to their willingness to pay a premium and purchase for organic product. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A telephone survey consisting of 913 households was made to reach an estimated 3.3 percent sampling error with 95 percent confidence level. Findings ‐ It was found that those who were female, who had higher occupation prestige, who had college education levels, who were aged in their 40s, and who possessed an optimistic opinion toward the necessity of organic farming tend to pay a premium for and buy organic food. The majority of Taiwanese respondents showed a high level of concern about pesticides but a low trust in organic food, which revealed an attitudinal inconsistency toward organic agriculture/food. A multiple discriminant analysis with a moderating variable shows that consumers' trust in organic food and their pesticide concern jointly explain the respondents' willingness to pay a premium and purchasing behavior. The influence of consumers' pesticide concern on their willingness to pay a premium and purchase actually depends on their levels of trust. Originality/value ‐ As a whole, lack of trust and confusing organic product certification levels is the main barrier to Taiwan's organic agriculture development. Further communication and policy modification is needed to reinforce consumers' confidence in organic agriculture/food.
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Keywords: Buying behaviour; Consumer attitudes; Consumer behaviour; Organic agriculture; Organic foods; Taiwan; Trust; Willingness to pay a premium

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-29

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