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Australian Consumer Perceptions of Regionally Grown Fruits and Vegetables: Importance, Enablers, and Barriers

1
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University South West Campus, 585 Robertson Road, Bunbury, WA 6230, Australia
2
Centre for Rural Health, School of Health Sciences, College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania, Newnham Drive, Newnham, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia
3
School of Science, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
4
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
5
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Churchill Avenue, Sandy Bay, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010063
Received: 22 October 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 18 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a cornerstone of a balanced diet; their consumption has health, environmental, ethical, and economic implications. This pilot study aimed to: (i) measure fruit and vegetable consumption; (ii) understand consumer perceptions of the perceived importance of regionally grown fresh fruit and vegetables (RGFFV); and (iii) identify the barriers and enablers of access and consumption of RGFFV. The study took place in Tasmania (TAS) and South Western Australia (SWA). A 54-item survey included questions relating to purchasing and consumption patterns; barriers and enablers related to access and consumption of RGFFV; and sociodemographic information. Survey data were analyzed using Chi-square test and binary logistic regression. A total of n = 120 TAS and n = 123 SWA adult respondents participated. SWA respondents had higher intakes of fruit (p < 0.001) and vegetables (p < 0.001). Almost all respondents (97%) rated purchasing of RGFFV as important. Top enablers included produce freshness (97%), and to financially support local farmers (94%) and the local community (91%). Barriers included limited seasonal availability of the produce (26%), the belief that RGFFV were expensive (12%) and food budgetary constraints (10%). Recommendations include broader marketing and labelling of seasonal RGFFV; increasing ‘buy local’ campaigns; consumer information about how RGFFV benefits producers and communities; and pricing produce according to quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: fruit; vegetables; regional; rural; provenance fruit; vegetables; regional; rural; provenance
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Godrich, S.; Kent, K.; Murray, S.; Auckland, S.; Lo, J.; Blekkenhorst, L.; Penrose, B.; Devine, A. Australian Consumer Perceptions of Regionally Grown Fruits and Vegetables: Importance, Enablers, and Barriers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 63.

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