Fabian Demicoli

What Europeans think of food security, food quality & relation between agriculture & countryside?

 A special
Eurobarometer was published providing some useful insights on Europeans
Attitudes. More than 26 500 European citizens aged 15 and above were
interviewed in all 27 EU MS.

More than 90% of EU citizens find quality and price an
important factor when buying food, and more important than origin (71%) and
brand (47%) – indeed they were deemed "very important" by 65%
(quality) and 54% (price)

Quality labels are important for two-thirds of respondents,
and there is an improvement in the recognition of the different EU quality
logos: 24% of those asked recognise the EU organic logo, less than 2 years
after it was launched.

On food security, three-quarters of EU citizens
expressed concern at the challenge of feeding the world's population, but less
than 60% are concerned about the ability of the EU and Member states to meet
the food needs of their populations.

Most EU citizens regard agriculture as making a
positive contribution to preserve rural areas. This is consistent across most
Member States and socio-demographic groups. There is a broad consensus that
agriculture plays a beneficial role.

Key findings

Food security: Some 56% of respondents
are not preoccupied by the level of food production in their country and 57%
are not preoccupied by this at EU level as a whole. On the other hand, 76% of
respondents are preoccupied by the level of food production in the world.
Following on from those results, 84% of people agree that the EU should help
other countries to increase their food production.

Some 81% agree that the EU should
increase its own food production to depend less on imports, and 77% agree that
EU should produce more to satisfy the needs of its own citizens, as well as the
demand from outside the EU.

Food quality: For 96% of respondents
food quality is a factor when deciding to buy or not to buy products – it comes
even before price, which is cited by 91% of respondents. The origin of the
product is less crucial, but still important to 71% of respondents. By contrast
the brand is not considered important by 50% of respondents, as opposed to the
47% of those who consider it important. Quality labels are important to 67% of
respondents.

Only a minority of EU citizens
recognise logos of EU food quality assurance schemes: 36% of EU citizens are
aware of the non-EU Fairtrade logo, 24% are aware of the EU's Organic farming
logo and only a small minority are aware of logos symbolising the three
elements of the EU's Protected Geographical Status scheme (PDI,PDO, TSG).

Agriculture and the countryside: 81% of
respondents consider that agriculture is beneficial for the environment, 86%
agree that it contributes to the beauty of the countryside and 89% believe that
agriculture helps to protect rural areas.

The full report can be found here:
http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/survey/index_en.htm

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