Consumers have shown a strong willingness to pay more for eco-labelled vegetables, while indicating supermarkets should favour environmentally-responsible suppliers, according to new research featured in leading vegetable industry magazine Vegetables Australia.

The findings are the result of a series of consumer focus groups and an online survey of more than 1,000 grocery-buyers, conducted by Applied Horticultural Research (AHR) in conjunction with AUSVEG.

“More than 40 per cent of participants indicated they were willing to pay more for certified sustainable products, while more than half said supermarkets should favour environmentally-responsible suppliers, even if it meant prices would increase,” said AUSVEG spokesperson, Hugh Gurney.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

“The study demonstrated that people most interested in eco-labels tend to like vegetables and consume more of them. They also usually buy free-range eggs, have some interest or experience with growing their own vegetables or herbs, and often have above average household income,” said Mr Gurney.

The survey also found that consumers already had strong views about purchasing products like free-range eggs and non-generic brands of milk, but were less familiar with the wider issues around the production of vegetables. Despite the findings, stated consumer intentions are not necessarily in line with sales figures.

With strong in-principle support for environmentally-sustainable products in mind, AUSVEG is developing its own, clear, concise and credible eco-labeling scheme, in conjunction with retailer Coles, as part of the EnviroVeg Platinum program.

“Consumers are telling us they want to buy environmentally sustainable products and are willing to pay more to do so.” 

“Once operational, the EnviroVeg Platinum labeling scheme will provide shoppers with reliable information and the peace of mind they need to make informed purchasing decisions,” said Mr Gurney.

Vegetables Australia communicates vital research and development (R&D) findings and projects that have been funded by the National Vegetable Levy with matched funds from the Australian Government. To receive a free media copy of Vegetables Australia magazine, please contact AUSVEG.

MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Spokesperson, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0410 047 432 E-mail: 

MEDIA CONTACT: Dr Jenny Ekman, Applied Horticultural Research – Mobile: 0407 384 285