An ecolabel is a seal or logo indicating that a product has met a certain set of environmental and/or social standards or attributes. Ecolabels offer one important avenue to educate consumers about locally grown, sustainably raised foods.
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture partnered with the Iowa State University Business Analysis Laboratory in the second phase of a pilot project to conduct consumer market research on food ecolabels and perceptions of locally grown foods. The specific objectives for Phase II were as follows:
Analyze consumer reactions to different ecolabel options that focus on consumer interest in “freshness,”
Ascertain the perceptions of consumers regarding how much of their food is produced locally and within their state,
Determine the market power and appeal of the term “grown locally” within the context of other terms such as “organic” and “pesticide-free,”
Better understand—from a consumer perspective—the strength of the relationship between the term “family farm” and how and where the food is grown, and
Assess the ISU Business Analysis Lab’s ability and skill in providing marketing assistance to farmers and entrepreneurs selling locally grown foods.