Ethical Foods – International Situation Assessment Opportunities and Threats (2011)

Study completed for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. As incomes and welfare rise in affluent communities like Australia, ethical consumerism becomes a greater priority for a larger part of the population. The ethical food sector currently accounts for between 5% and 10% of the total food and beverage market. While ethical foods embrace organics, they are more broadly scoped to include products that are ‘natural’, ‘fair trade’, ‘free range’, ‘animal welfare friendly’, ‘environmentally responsible’ and ‘sustainably produced’. The growth of the ethical food movement has implications for farming practices, environmental, energy and trade policy. The sector has captured the attention of the international food companies who have responded with investment and a range of new ethical products. Reporting on the development of the ethical foods sector, this study addresses Ethical food qualities and scope; Consumer requirements; Current and forecast market sizes; The international supply situation and the impact of ethical consumption; Ethical food trends and sector risks; and Australian agriculture opportunities and threats.