This study investigates, analyses and describes the existence of penetrated and potential markets for pesticide-free vegetables in Bangkok using the Market Systems Research approach. Key informant interviews were used to collect information on the current marketing system for pesticide-free vegetables from producers, wholesalers, retailers and Department of Agriculture officials. A structured consumer survey of vegetable consumers in Bangkok was used to collect personal and household data, information on vegetable and pesticide-free vegetable buying behavior and consumer concerns with pesticide use on vegetables. The results indicate a high degree of awareness and a negative perception of pesticides among vegetable consumers in Bangkok. The penetrated market for pesticide-free vegetables can be categorized as well-educated, young and middle-aged women from middle and upper-income groups. They are willing to compromise on the quality and type of vegetables they purchase, to travel to locations other than where they usually purchase vegetables, and to pay a premium over the price of other available vegetables, in order to purchase pesticide-free vegetables. The potential market can be categorized in the same way as the penetrated market but includes more younger and fewer well-educated consumers. The results also indicate relatively little concern by consumers about the presence of pesticide residues on vegetables labeled as pesticide-free.
Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), PO Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand