Citizens split on food security, survey finds
By Ed Bray | Friday 06 July 2012
An EU-wide survey has revealed a major split among citizens in their attitudes towards national food security, with some 94% of Greeks concerned by their food production levels, compared to 11% in Denmark and the Netherlands. In a Eurobarometer survey on EU attitudes towards food security and quality, published on July 6, a majority of citizens (81%) agree that the EU should step up its food production to reduce dependence on imports, while an even greater number (84%) said the EU should do more to help other countries increase their production.
Respondents were also divided in their attitudes towards food quality and prices, although the majority agreed that these two factors were more important than origin and brand when buying food. Only 47% of respondents deemed brand a determining factor in food purchases, compared to 71% for the country of origin, and over 90% for quality and price. Quality was most important for citizens in Malta (86%) and Cyprus (84%), compared to only a small majority in the Netherlands (52%) and Austria (53%). Brands were considered important in Italy (68%), Slovakia and Poland (66%), but of little importance in the Netherlands (21%) and Germany (31%).
The origin of the product was of most concern to Greek citizens, 90% of whom claimed it was an important factor, while in the UK (52%) and Belgium (56%) this proportion is substantially lower.
One of the more worrying findings for the EU executive is that only 14% of EU citizens could recognise the Union’s prestigious quality logos – the protected designation of origin (PDO) and the protected geographical indication (PGI). The figure is increasing, however, Commission officials point out. Some 24% of the respondents are already familiar with the EU’s organic logo.