Archived—Project Summaries 2006-2007 - Action pour la solidarité, l'équité, l'environnement et de développement (ASEED) – Équiterre

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2177 Masson Street, Suite 317
Montreal, Quebec
H2H 1B1
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1. Let's Become Responsible Consumers! A Study of the Factors That Prompt Consumers to Make Responsible Choices in the Food Sector


Équiterre will identify the most effective ways to get consumers to make responsible consumption choices in the food sector (organic food that is produced equitably, locally, in a social economy, etc.).

For the past few years, socially responsible consumption has been a popular theme among governments, citizens, retailers and the media. Yet so-called "socially responsible" products are still relatively rare or, at best, they target a niche market. Équiterre believes that it is possible to identify certain factors that discourage consumers from taking action (or encourage them to do so). We will therefore be able to identify solutions and measures that will help ensure that socially responsible consumption has a real economic and social impact, while meeting the expectations and needs of consumers.

For the purposes of this research, Équiterre plans to review studies that have already been done on this subject as well as on related issues. Équiterre will then commission a national survey. Finally, Équiterre will conduct a series of interviews with commercial stakeholders to find out their views about consumer behaviour as it relates to socially responsible products.

The research will be carried out in four stages. Équiterre will begin by reviewing previous studies. Équiterre will then set up a committee to draft the questions for the national survey; a CROP official will oversee this committee. Équiterre will then produce the survey, using a weighted disproportionate sample stratified by region (15-20 minutes). With approximately 1 700 people surveyed, Équiterre will map out a national picture and will be able to make regional comparisons while establishing consumer profiles. Finally, a series of twenty interviews with commercial stakeholders will help Équiterre find out their views about consumer behaviour as it relates to socially responsible products. These lengthy interviews (30-60 minutes) will address various issues and will complement the research. The interviews will be conducted in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. If necessary, "omnibus" survey questions will be commissioned. CROP will monitor the entire process to ensure its validity from a methodological standpoint.

Based on the overall data, Équiterre will identify solutions, recommendations and measures to ensure that socially responsible consumption in the food sector moves from its marginal status to concrete action.