Organic Labelling Influencing Consumerism in China and Thailand: A Case for Collaborating with Mature Organic Economies

  • GOH Bee Chen Email author


Consumers are interested in buying organic food products from countries where there is a reputation for organic quality and standard through the certification process. Countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada have been well-known generally for high-quality organic food production and distribution through maintaining stringent standards in organic accreditation and certification from paddock-to-plate, or farm-to-table. It appears that an unconscious factor is also at play in influencing consumer motivation and behaviour in buying organic – trust in certification labelling. Here, consumers have to trust the organic foods that they buy are genuinely organic. A large contributing factor lies in organic food labelling including the country-of-origin labels (COOL) in organics. This Chapter will argue the case for (1) creating consumer trust in locally produced organic food in Thailand and China through implementing a regulatory framework for organics that can induce confidence in consumer behaviour; and (2) encouraging mature organic economies like Australia, New Zealand and Canada to capitalize on the country-of-origin labels in organic food confidence in order to increase their organic export trade to China and Thailand.


Asian consumers Australia China Consumer trust in organics Consumer confidence Country-of-origin labels Mature organic economies New Zealand Organic foods Organic labelling Thailand 


  1. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Country of origin claims and the Australian consumer law. March 2019Google Scholar
  2. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Guide to country of origin food labelling. March 2019Google Scholar
  3. Australian Government Department of Agriculture.
  4. Bowen D (in collaboration with Hoffmann, U) (2015) Plurilateral regulatory cooperation on organic agriculture and trade. UNFSS Discussion Paper No.5, United Nations: United Nations Forum on Sustaibility Standards, April 2015Google Scholar
  5. Canavari M, Cantore N, Pignatti E, Spadoni R (2010) Role of certification bodies in the organic production system. In: Hass R, Canavari M, Slee B, Chen T, Anurugsa B (eds) Looking east, looking west: organic and quality food marketing in Asia and Europe. Wageningen Academic Publichers, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  6. Carson R (1962) Silent spring. Houghton Mifflin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  7. China’s Poverty Reduction Online.
  8. Chinvarasopak P (2015) Key factors affecting the success of organic agriculture in Thai communities: three case studies in Ubon Ratchathani and Srisaket Provinces. Thai J Public Admin 13(2):105–130Google Scholar
  9. Christie R (ed) (2018) Australia organic market report 2018. Australian Organic Ltd.Google Scholar
  10. Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Commonwealth of Australia)Google Scholar
  11. Do C (2015) Organic food labelling in Australia: a ‘Murky environment’ in need of reform. Univ QLD Law J 34(1):123Google Scholar
  12. EU-China Trade Project (2018) Report on “Organic agriculture in China: current situation and challenges”, May 2018Google Scholar
  13. Gao H, Park H, Sakashita A (2017) Conventionalization of organic agriculture in China: a case study of Haobao Organic Agricultural Company in Yunnan Province. Jpn J Agric Econ 19:37–42Google Scholar
  14. Jiumpanyarach W (2018) The impact of social trends: teenagers’ attitudes for organic food market in Thailand. Int J Soc Econ 45(4):682–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. King FH (2004) Farmers of forty centuries: organic farming in China, Korea and Japan, Dover edn. Dover PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  16. Kongsom W, Kongsom C (2016) Consumer behaviour and knowledge on organic products in Thailand. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology. Int J Econ Manag Eng 10(8):2612–2616Google Scholar
  17. Lawson, A, Cosby, A, Baker, D, Leu, S, Lefley, E, Sahota, A and Bez, N, ‘Australia’ Willer, H, and Lernoud, J, The world of organic agriculture: statistics and emerging trends 2019, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, and IFOAM Organics International, Bonn, 2019Google Scholar
  18. Mathur T (ed) (2018) The Indian organic market: a new paradigm in agriculture. Ernst & Young LLPGoogle Scholar
  19. Pattanapant A, Shivakoti GP (2009) Opportunities and constraints of organic agriculture in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. Asia-Pac Dev J 16:115–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pedersen S, Aschemann-Witzel J, Thorgesen J (2017) Consumer evaluation of imported organic food products in emerging economies in Asia. International Food Marketing Research Symposium, Dubrovnik, CroatiaGoogle Scholar
  21. People’s Republic of China Certification and Accreditation Administration.
  22. Pomsanam P, Napompech K, Suwanmaneepong S (2014) Factors driving Thai consumers’ intention to purchase organic foods. Asian J Sci Res 7(4):434–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Qiao Y (2011) Organic agriculture development in China. In: Willer H, Kilcher L (eds) The world of organic agriculture: statistics and emerging trends 2011. IFOAM/FiBL, Bonn/Frick, pp 132–136Google Scholar
  24. Rimpeekool W, Seubsman S, Banwell C, Kirk M, Yiengprugsawan V, Sleigh A (2015) Food and nutrition labelling in Thailand: a long march from subsistence producers to international traders. Food Policy 56:59–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Scorzon A, van der Meulen B, Jiao L (2014) Organics in Chinese food law. Eur Food Feed Law Rev 3:179Google Scholar
  26. Sitthisuntikul K, Yassuck P, Limnirankul B (2018) How does organic agriculture contribute to food security of small land holders?: a case study in the North of Thailand. Cogent Food Agric 4:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Smed S, Andersen LM, Kaergard N, Daugbjerg C (2013) A matter of trust: how trust influence organic consumption. J Agric Sci 5(7):91–106Google Scholar
  28. Snyder F, Ni L (2018) Three faces of China – EU Cooperation, from the Beijing Olympics to One Belt, One Road’ (April 24, 2018). European Union Academic Programme – Macau Bi-annual Conference, ‘60 years after the treaties of Rome: what is the future for the European Union?’, Faculty of Law, University of Macau, 27–28 November 2017; Peking University School of Transnational Law research paper no.18-8Google Scholar
  29. Song BL (2017) The effectiveness of organic certification logos in influencing consumer’s attitudes to purchase organic food. J Eng Appl Sci 12(2):301–306Google Scholar
  30. Sriwaranun Y, Gan C, Lee M, Cohen DA (2015) Consumers’ willingness to pay for organic products in Thailand. Int J Soc Econ 42:480–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thaiyotin P, Ujiie K, Shuto H (2015) An evaluation of consumers’ preference on food safety certificates and product origins: a choice experiment approach for fresh oranges in Metropolitan Bangkok, Thailand. Agric Inf Res 24(2):74–80Google Scholar
  32. Thorgesen J, Pedersen S, Paternoga M, Schwendel E, Aschemann-Witzel J (2017) How important is country-of-origin for organic food consumers? A review of the literature and suggestions for future research. Br Food J 119:542–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ueasangkomsate P, Santiteerakul S (2016) A study of consumers’ attitudes and intention to buy organic foods for sustainability. Proc Environ Sci 34:423–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang L, Wang J, Huo X (2019) Consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for organic fruits in china: a double-hurdle analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health 16:126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Xie Y, Zhao H, Pawlak K, Gao Y (2015) The development of organic agriculture in China and the factors affecting organic farming. J Agribus Rural Dev 2(36):353–361Google Scholar
  36. Yin S, Han F, Wang Y, Hu W, Lv S (2019) Ethnocentrism, trust and the willingness to pay of Chinese consumers for organic labels from different countries and certifiers. J Food Qual 19:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law and JusticeSouthern Cross UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of LawChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand

Personalised recommendations