Consumer Perceptions of Organic Food Quality

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”

Let me begin by acknowledging the co-author of the presentation, Angelika Meier-Ploeger. She is responsible for the serious bits. The vitriol and bile is all mine.

The word “quality” can be used as a noun – to mean an attribute or character. It is also used in the descriptive sense. When it is, it is taken to mean something good – a grade of excellence. Have you noticed it is never accompanied by the words garbage or shit? Especially when it is used by advertising people, sales people of all types (even farmers and their representatives), lobbyists, campaigners, political movements, all of them use “quality” to conjure images of the things that are generally thought desirable.

The image world of “quality” is a magical place; full of thoughts and wishes that bring smiles to the face, lumps in the throat, delightful knots in the stomach – “Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, ……….”. Or in other words, “our favourite things”, which all go towards conjuring a sense of “quality”.

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