Understanding the motives behind the consumption of organic products in North Portugal: a focus group study

Lucía Penalba-Sánchez*, Elisa Di-Gregorio, Raquel Claro, Mafalda Pinto, Elisabete Pinto, Patrícia Oliveira-Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: The soil is a non-renewable and essential resource for life on our planet. Considering the widespread fast pace of soil degradation and erosion, it is urgent to protect it by enacting pro-environmental behaviors. Consumers’ massive purchase and consumption of organic products is a powerful way to encourage farmers to apply sustainable soil practices. Unfortunately, there is a lack of studies in Portugal explaining the increased interest but low consumption of organic products. Methods: Here, the relationship between (a) intrinsic motivations, extrinsic motivations, knowledge, and self-perception of control regarding proenvironmental behaviors, and (b) consumption of organic products and other related pro-environmental behaviors was explored. To do so, two semi-structured interview focus groups (n  =  15 participants) were conducted. Results: Organic product purchase and consumption seem to be driven by intrinsic motivations such as health or environmental concerns. External aspects such as labels and price as well, as personal, and psychological elements like knowledge and self-control, may be attenuating or strengthening the behavior. These findings should be validated in quantitative studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1316634
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2023


  • Consumer behavior
  • Environmental concerns
  • Healthy soils
  • Motivation
  • Organic food
  • Perceived control
  • Pro-environmental behavior


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