As far as the final consumers are concerned the sustainability of products is playing an increasingly important role. Especially organic or fair trade products, consumer goods with low energy consumption, or consumer goods which are certified according to ecological criteria at the individual levels of the production chain, are more and more frequently put into the shopping basket. So far this development has rather been driven by consumers and enterprises.
- To which extent does sustainability play a role for the behaviour of market participants (suppliers and demanders)?
- Is supply reacting on demand or demand reacting on supply?
- To which extent does product innovation play a role (product and process innovation), to which extent the right marketing strategy?
- By which political framework conditions can the sustainable behaviour of market participants be further developed?
- Which effect has the current economic crisis on supply and demand of sustainable products?
Sustainable Production and Consumption – organic from conviction?
Since the discount market around the corner has increased its range of products – Mrs. Little is also resorting more and more to organic and regionally produced goods – sustainable products are accounting meanwhile for about half of her food shopping.
The right choice from the product store decides on environmental quality, climate protection and social conditions. In industrialised countries about 20 % of the CO2 emissions originate from the food industry. Thus by purchasing 10 percent more regional foodstuffs these goods are transported instead of 1,700 kilometres only 150 kilometres. Also in other fields the Little family has got into the habit of buying sustainably produced products. Kevin is wearing almost exclusively organic jeans and the T-shirts of Catherine are also made of organic cotton. And Mr. Little planted in spring only herbs, flowers and vegetable plants from certified organic production. As long as the price is all right the Little family is putting sustainable products in the basket. However, Mrs. Little goes only rarely for shopping to the organic shop, which offers also many regional products, she considers the products mostly to be too expensive.