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Farmer Consumer Partnerships (CORE Org ERANet) - OF0381

This joint European CORE project will develop and test innovative generic communication strategies as a valuable tool for the strategic positioning of organic companies and farmers’ initiatives following Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approaches in the organic market: against the varying cultural background of consumers in five European countries.
A trans-disciplinary conceptual framework will integrate the different research backgrounds of the partners and consider the perspectives of the stakeholders and market actors. The CSR approaches and communication strategies with the general public, stakeholders and specifically with consumers of successful initiatives in each partner country are analysed in a case study approach. Promising communication arguments in all partner countries are then tested with different methods. An Information-Display-Matrix is developed to screen promising communication arguments in different countries. With these arguments communication tools such as labels, leaflets and posters are developed by advertising companies. These tools are then discussed with consumers in Focus Group Discussions. Finally, Consumer Choice Tests will be used to analyse consumers’ buying behaviour towards organic products presented with CSR arguments in a closed to purchase setting. The results will show organic farmers the most suitable CSR arguments to improve the image of their products and the consumers’ willingness to pay.

CORE Organic is a transnational partnership (ERA-net) where resources within research in organic food and farming are joined. This project will be caried in five European countries.
This application concerns the contribution of the UK partner to the overall proejct.
The overall objective of this research project is to analyse and to test innovative communication strategies of organic companies in relation to CSR arguments as a means to reconnect organic farmers and consumers. This will be done against the background of the varying cultural and behavioural backgrounds of consumers in five European countries. It is assumed that many organic companies in Europe are currently looking at how to differentiate their products and services from the global organic market. The results of a comparison of different CSR arguments and communication strategies in the five European countries will provide a valuable tool for organic farmers’ initiatives for their strategic positioning in the organic market. The results will also be interesting for policy makers to gain a better understanding of the country-specific attitudes of ethical consumers, which offers finally an insight in the challenges how to fulfil their expectations for a sustainable development of Europe.

The detailed objectives are as follows: (i) to identify successful initiatives in each partner country, analyse their CSR approaches and communication strategies with the general public, with stakeholders and specifically with consumers in a case study approach; (ii) to test the most promising communication arguments based on the CSR approaches on consumers’ buying behaviour in all partner countries with different methods; (iii) to develop and test new generic communication strategies as a valuable tool for the strategic positioning of farmers’ initiatives following CSR approaches in the organic market.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : SID 5 OF0381   (744k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2010

Cost: £120,022
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Wales, Aberystwth, Organic Research Centre
Organic Farming              
Social Research              
Fields of Study
Organic Farming