Consumer perception of organic food in Croatia


  • Kristina Svržnjak College of Agriculture in Križevci HR – 48260 Križevci, M. Demerca 1
  • Silvije Jerčinović College of Agriculture in Križevci HR – 48260 Križevci, M. Demerca 1
  • Nikolina Perčec The Croatian Agricultural Extension Institute HR – 43240 Čazma, M. Novačića 13
  • Lidija Firšt Godek College of Agriculture in Križevci HR – 48260 Križevci, M. Demerca 1


organic food, food production, organic agriculture, consumer perception of organic food


In the past decade, both worldwide and in Croatia, there has been an increased interest in the production of organic products. This is the result of several factors. The most important elements of the organic food industry are linking agriculture and tourism, improving overall tourism, increasing consumer concerns for health, and increasing the area of uncultivated land suitable for organic production. Croatia has a very good platform for creating a speciic environmental identity in the eyes of domestic customers and to export organic products to countries with higher standards. Croatia has many comparative advantages for developing organic food production. Geographic conditions for organic farming in Croatia are very favourable. The diversity of climate, soils, crops, the environmental situation and the structure and diversity of economic activities are great advantages for the development of ecological agriculture. However, despite the great importance of organic production from one side and concrete igures on arable area, production volume, there is still a shortage of producers. Efforts to establish organic agriculture in Croatia are not easy, but they are certainly necessary and can be cost effective. Although in recent years the area of land dedicated to organic food has doubled, this amount is still negligible: only half of one percent of total agricultural land. If these are compared with the share of organic agriculture area in the member states of the European Union, which ranges from ive to ten percent, their backwardness is evident. The main objective of this study was to examine the consumer perception of organic food according to factors that encourage the consumption of organic products and to examine consumers' understanding of the concept of ecological agriculture. In accordance with the set objective, a survey was conducted in September 2009. The sample consisted of 102 randomly selected consumers of organic products. The research data is important for both food producers and traders. It shows improvement in key elements of the placement of Croatian organic products, increasing availability of organic food to average Croatian consumers, and increased production surfaces for organic products. In addition, research data will serve organic producers as an information medium for the creation of future promotional options for their products. Given its good geographical location, proximity to developed central and western European countries, i.e. the market where organic products are highly demanded, a market for organic products would be secured. Another favorable factor is the intensive development of tourism, which means that most of the products could be sold directly on the domestic market that is involved in the tourism industry.




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