Environmental concerns are central for many consumers with regard to organic food. AsÂ mentioned above, environmental concerns were often expressed in association with otherÂ concerns, such as those related to health and ethics. Examples of more explicitly expressedÂ environmental concerns are related to consumersâ€™ wishes for limited transportation of food inÂ the food system (keeping â€œfood milesâ€ low); limited food packaging; the use of environmentallyÂ friendly packaging; and concerns about energy expenditure in the food system in generalÂ as well as the use of natural resources.
The amount of attention given to environmental problems in society (locally or as a whole),Â the mass media and so on is very likely to influence the way in which consumers relate toÂ organic food. In this regard there is an important difference between Denmark and Norway â€“Â two countries that are similar in many respects, but with different environmental issues on theÂ public agenda. Differences in the perceived â€œurgencyâ€ of problems such as ground water pollutionÂ are thought to be an important background factor in explaining differences in the organicÂ market. Perceptions of the role of domestic agriculture in causing or mitigating environmentalÂ problems also seem to influence consumer perceptions of organic food. CountriesÂ like Hungary â€“ where it appears that agriculture is not perceived as an important polluter ofÂ the environment â€“ might have something in common with Norway, where there also are perceptionsÂ of both the natural environment and cultivated land and as â€œcleanâ€ and â€œvirgin-likeâ€.