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How do consumers perceive organic food from different geographic origins? Evidence from Hong Kong and Shanghai
The objective of this paper is to understand how Chinese consumers perceive certified organic food, especially the differences between locally and nationally produced organic food compared to food produced overseas. In 2012, a consumer survey was conducted at supermarkets in Hong Kong and Shanghai (N=245). Participants were asked for their perception on four different food origins: locally produced organic food, organic food from China, imported organic food, and locally produced conventional food. Consumers in Hong Kong had a positive attitude towards local organic food and imported organic food. However, they were sceptical about organic food from China, in particular regarding chemical residues and the trustworthiness of producers. Consumers in Shanghai, in contrast, had a positive attitude towards all three tested geographical origins of organic food. Overall, the results suggest that it is challenging for marketers to promote and boost the sales of China-produced organic food in China. Better communication is essential to convince consumers that organic food from China is of similar quality as organic food produced elsewhere.