The 2005 Australian Organics Consumer Report has found that education rather than wealth is the driving force behind the growth of the AUS$400m organic sector. University graduates, the study suggests, are more likely to become organic shoppers and this is not dependant on income levels.

More than half of people who bought organic produce in the study had degrees, but only 27% earned more than AUS$100,000 per annum.

“Education is a key driver,” James Meldrum, a former senior research analyst at ACNielsen and director at Melbourne’s Nourish Foods, which funded the report with Metier Consulting, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Education drives the ability of a person to find out why organics is better,” he said. “Income is not as important. We’re seeing an equal proportion of organic consumers at the low end as the high end. It might be that higher income earners can buy more but it’s not why they’re buying it.”