Food concerns and support for environmental food policies and purchasing

Anthony Worsley, Wei C. Wang, Melissa Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Consumer support for pro environmental food policies and food purchasing are important for the adoption of successful environmental policies. This paper examines consumers' views of food policy options as their predisposition to purchase pro environmental foods along with their likely demographic, educational and cognitive antecedents including food and environmental concerns and universalism values (relating to care for others and the environment). An online survey to assess these constructs was conducted among 2204 Australian adults in November 2011. The findings showed strong levels of support for both environmental food policies (50%-78% support) and pro environmental food purchasing (51%-69% intending to purchase pro environmental foods). Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling showed that different cognitive mediators exist along pathways between demographics and the two outcome variables. Support for food policy was positively related to food and environment concerns (std. Beta = 0.25), universalism (0.41), perceived control (0.07), and regulatory issues (0.64 but negatively with food security issues (-0.37). Environment purchasing intentions were positively linked to food and nutrition concerns (0.13), food and environment concerns (0.24), food safety concerns (0.19), food and animal welfare concerns (0.16), universalism (0.25), female gender (0.05), education (0.04), and perceived influence over the food system (0.17). In addition, health study in years 11 and 12 was positively related to the beginning of both of these pathways (0.07 for each). The results are discussed in relation to the opportunities that communications based on the mediating variables offer for the promotion of environmental food policies and purchasing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Environment
  • Food concerns
  • Policy
  • Purchasing intentions
  • Survey

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