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Eurobarometer: What Europeans think of food security, food quality and the relation between agriculture and the countryside (2012)

For this "Eurobarometer" survey on food security, food quality and the countryside more than 26 500 European citizens aged 15 and above were interviewed in all 27 EU Member States.

>> Read the Eurobarometer report


More than 90% of EU citizens find quality and price an important factor when buying food, and more important than origin (71%) and brand (47%) – indeed they were deemed "very important" by 65% (quality) and 54% (price).


Quality labels are important for two-thirds of respondents, and there is an improvement on previous years in the recognition of the different EU quality logos. The survey showed that 24% of those asked already recognise the EU organic logo, less than 2 years after it was launched.


On food security, three-quarters of EU citizens expressed concern at the challenge of feeding the world’s population, but less than 60% are concerned about the ability of the EU and Member States to meet the food needs of their populations.


Most EU citizens regard agriculture as making a positive contribution to preserve rural areas. This is consistent across most Member States and socio-demographic groups. There is a broad consensus that agriculture plays a beneficial role.


Key findings

Food security

  • Some 56% of respondents are not preoccupied by the level of food production in their country and 57% are not preoccupied by this at EU level as a whole.
  • On the other hand, 76% of respondents are preoccupied by the level of food production in the world.
  • 84% of people agree that the EU should help other countries to increase their food production.
  • Some 81% agree that the EU should increase its own food production to depend less on imports.
  • 77% agree that EU should produce more to satisfy the needs of its own citizens, as well as the demand from outside the EU.


Food quality

  • For 96% of respondents food quality is a factor when deciding to buy or not to buy products – it comes even before price, which is cited by 91% of respondents.
  • The origin of the product is less crucial, but still important to 71% of respondents.
  • The brand on another hand is not considered important by 50% of respondents, as opposed to the 47% of those who consider it important.
  • Quality labels are important to 67% of respondents.


Agriculture and the countryside

  • 81% of respondents consider that agriculture is beneficial for the environment.
  • 86% agree that agriculture contributes to the beauty of the countryside.
  • 89% believe that agriculture helps to protect rural areas.



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