Exploring food consumers’ motivations to fight both climate change and biodiversity loss: Combining insights from behavior theory and Eurobarometer data

Elsevier, Food Quality and Preference, Volume 94, December 2021
de Boer J., Aiking H.

Using data from Eurobarometer 83.4, this study combines the two branches of research that address climate-related and biodiversity-related opinions and actions of individuals in the EU. The literature shows that the differences between climate-related and biodiversity-related policies correspond, at an individual level, to a person's basic attitudes towards environmental protection and towards nature protection, respectively. The contribution of this study is to demonstrate how these attitudes can influence behavior that has environmental repercussions for both issues, such as food consumption practices. The analysis focused on two Eurobarometer questions about buying local and seasonal food (to fight climate change) and about buying organic and local food (to protect biodiversity and nature). The results of two multinomial regression analyses, separately in Northwestern European countries and Eastern and Southern European countries, demonstrated that climate-related and biodiversity-related attitudes were, independent of each other, related to the adoption of these purchase behaviors. The results may support Europe's new Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy and indicate that improving food consumption practices can enable individuals to better play their part in fighting climate change and biodiversity loss simultaneously, which opens up interesting new perspectives for policymakers, businesses and consumers.