International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a cornerstone of a balanced diet; their consumption has health, environmental, ethical, and economic implications. This pilot study aimed to: (i) measure fruit and vegetable consumption; (ii) understand consumer perceptions of the perceived importance of regionally grown fresh fruit and vegetables (RGFFV); and (iii) identify the barriers and enablers of access and consumption of RGFFV. The study took place in Tasmania (TAS) and South Western Australia (SWA). A 54-item survey included questions relating to purchasing and consumption patterns; barriers and enablers related to access and consumption of RGFFV; and sociodemographic information. Survey data were analyzed using Chi-square test and binary logistic regression. A total of n = 120 TAS and n = 123 SWA adult respondents participated. SWA respondents had higher intakes of fruit (p < 0.001) and vegetables (p < 0.001). Almost all respondents (97%) rated purchasing of RGFFV as important. Top enablers included produce freshness (97%), and to financially support local farmers (94%) and the local community (91%). Barriers included limited seasonal availability of the produce (26%), the belief that RGFFV were expensive (12%) and food budgetary constraints (10%). Recommendations include broader marketing and labelling of seasonal RGFFV; increasing ‘buy local’ campaigns; consumer information about how RGFFV benefits producers and communities; and pricing produce according to quality.
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