February 2, 2009 / 11:11 AM / 12 years ago

Ethical foods backed despite downturn

LONDON (Reuters) - Ethical food shopping has not been abandoned despite the economic downturn and are buying more locally-produced and “Fairtrade” foods, as well as goods with higher animal welfare standards, a survey showed on Monday.

Only organic foods have suffered a decline, food and grocery researchers IGD found in a poll of 1,051 shoppers conducted in December.

A quarter of those surveyed said they had bought foods that support “Fairtrade” in the previous month, up from 23 percent the year before and almost three times more than in 2006.

The number of shoppers buying locally-produced food rose to 27 percent from 25 percent the year before, while the proportion buying food with higher animal welfare standards was up at 18 percent from 14 percent.

The percentage of shoppers buying organic foods, however, fell to 19 percent from 24 percent.

“While becoming increasingly price sensitive in these challenging times, shoppers are not leaving their ethical concerns at home when they go food shopping,” said IGD Chief Executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

“The aspiration for high quality, more sustainable food remains, but people are scrutinising closely to get the best value for their values.”

Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by David Cowell

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