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Abstract

For regional producers of organic food, the growth of the ‘green food’ market in China and the signing of a free trade agreement between Australia and China is critically important. An online survey of 250 Chinese consumers was conducted and it shows that the purchase of organic food is motivated by altruistic concerns (i.e., environment and animal welfare concerns) and self-interest (i.e., personal and familial health concerns, food safety concerns). Individuals who consume ‘green food’ and organic food are likely to distrust the Chinese food system. Age is an influential factor affecting purchase of certified organic food. Consumers aged 36 and over are more likely to buy certified organic food. The presence of children in the household is also an influential factor. The survey revealed gaps in respondents’ knowledge of green food and only half of those surveyed could distinguish between organic and green food. Fruit and vegetables are the most popular type of green food purchased. This study helps fill a gap in the academic literature given that comparatively little is known about the factors that influence organic food consumption in China. Recommendations include the development of a generic branding strategy, appropriate segmentation strategies and consumer education.

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