Getting to know consumers in Tunisia. In the search for an alternative and nature-friendly food model

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The SUSTAvianFEED project is working to demonstrate the efficacy of innovative poultry farming systems and the social effects in rural Mediterranean areas, focusing on gender equality.

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In their path to advance, one vital step is to understand the preferences and behavior of the consumers. For that reason, the Rayhana Association, a partner in the SUSTAvianFEED project, performed a consumer survey in Tunisia to bring out the opinions and attitudes of people in the Jendouba region on the theme of raising and consuming chickens based on an alternative and nature-friendly food model.

The interviews took place from March to April of this year, two months when people in Tunisia take on hiking and walking due to moderate weather and spring vacations. In particular, this year, April coincided with the month of Ramadan, when Tunisians consume more than usual and are adamant in their search for quality and healthy options.

Women showed more interest in completing the survey, finding the subject attractive, as touching on a nutrition product that is very present in their kitchen. Some of them are students, and the hope is this could open up topics of discussion for them in their university circles.

“120 people answered all the questions – Hayet Tabout, general secretary of the Rayhana association, explains.

What the survey shows:

  • 80% buy chicken and eggs in weekly markets, convenience stores, and supermarkets.
  • They also do the shopping between one to 5 times a week, depending on availability and free time.
  • They choose according to the diversity of products on display, the proximity, and the balance between quality and price. A part prefers to take advantage of the sales because of the limited financial means and the numerous family to feed.

Doing these kinds of surveys is very useful for the project:

‘These kinds of surveys – Hayet Tabout concludes – are beneficial to involve more people in the process, testing their acceptance and commitment to change methods of nitration for chickens. We work with farmers and producers, and target consumers’ opinions and interests. Changing the pattern of consumption is very important for the results of projects. As well as the questionnaire is not only a quantitative indicator but also a qualitative one which will make it possible to make a clear and logical diagnosis’.

Consumers are crucial players in achieving the project results.

If customers buy healthy food and adopt sustainable consumption patterns that support social impact and the environment, the dissemination and scalability of the project become feasible.

The reach of this project shows in the inclusion of more indirect beneficiaries, a broad age range, and different educational levels for the activities.

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