Research shows that most people are convinced of the importance of caring for the environment, tackling climate change, eating healthier food and paying fair prices. However, living up to those beliefs while shopping in the supermarket, continues to be a challenge for most people. Through workshops and conversations with different actors, among other things, Rikolto and its six partners aim to overcome this attitude-behaviour gap.
Sustainable consumption relies on a niche market segment. Although consumers have shown a positive attitude and willingness to shop in a sustainable manner, several stumbling blocks seem to hold them back such as high prices, limited choice and inconvenience, among others. Additionally, the consumer is a passive player and rarely included in the sustainability conversation. Besides, supermarkets have leverage, but are still not fully taking advantage of it. Even though supermarkets possess the pivotal tools to make sustainable shopping the new normal, fierce price competition had hindered many of them from being the first to take big steps in this direction. Moreover, sustainability is often defined in a very one-sided manner. Ecological matters are receiving more and more attention, yet the economic (viable prices for farmers) and social (e.g. inclusion of disadvantaged groups) pillars are too often forgotten when it comes to sustainable food.
We are now exploring new options as we bring together supermarket managers, consumers and the relevant experts in their role as regular citizens.
''I am more than my receipt” is a Rikolto (Vredeseilanden) initiative in collaboration with Fairtrade Belgium, Ferm (a women’s organisation rooted in the farmers’ movement), Femma (a women’s organisation rooted in the labour movement), Gezinsbond (a family union) and Test Aankoop (a consumer association). Each of these organisations has its own unique approach to food. Together they represent more than one million consumers in Belgium.