A study commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre has found that nearly three-quarters of all consumers purchase local vegetables for their freshness.
A survey as part of the study interviewed a total of 800 people across the U.A.E. and found that larger groups of U.A.E. residents agree that local vegetables are produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
The study is the second public perception survey conducted by the Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre.
The first study was conducted in 2011. In November 2012, ADFSC launched its Local Harvest brand of fresh local produce from farms in Abu Dhabi, said Chris Hirst, Chief Executive Officer, ADFSC.
ADFSC organised a follow-up survey to measure the change in perceptions of U.A.E. residents towards local produce and assess the public's awareness of Local Harvest.
"Freshness is still the primary driver for consumers to purchase local vegetables, however perceptions of local vegetables have improved over the past three years, with a higher proportion of residents agreeing that local vegetables are good in quality, safe to consume, reasonably priced, grown in an environmentally friendly manner and are more nutritious and healthy compared to imported ones,” Hirst said.
"More U.A.E. residents are buying local vegetables today compared to 2011. Clearly, local vegetables are finding greater acceptance among the residents of the U.A.E..”
Today nearly one-third of all consumers purchase local vegetables due to their quality.
The study also found that 13 per cent of those surveyed in 2014 compared with three years earlier agree that local vegetables are safe to consume.
Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre has introduced a number of key concepts to Abu Dhabi farmers since its inception, including Global GAP certification. Global GAP is the internationally recognised standard for farm production.
The survey included telephone and face-to-face interviews of men and women from a variety of nationalities aged 18 to 50 and older. Results of the survey will help ADFSC and Local Harvest market products better to consumers in the U.A.E..
Local Harvest's range of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, dates and honey are available at major hypermarkets, supermarkets, souqs and online at www.localharvest.ae.
Source: Gulf News