Sutainability and health in the beer industry. Exploring the perception of brewers and consumers

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Brewers are currently working on the implementation of sustainable measures in the beer industry. This study raises the question whether the content and healthiness of the beer may be affected by these measures. Additionally, the perception of brewers and consumers is investigated. This has lead to the following research question: What is the relation between environmental sustainability and health in the beer sector according to scientific research, and how do brewers and consumers in the beer sector perceive this relation? Data has been collected through a literature search, a questionnaire and interviews. The results have revealed different beliefs amongst brewers, consumers and in scientific literature. Positive beliefs focussed on the reduction of pesticide residues in organic beer compared to regular beer. Negative beliefs were only expressed by brewers and literature, which state that organic ingredients may vary significantly in quality. However, those with neutral beliefs regarded beer as a safe, consistent product which is subject to a variety of safety and quality checks. These results have lead to a discussion on the sufficiency of existing quality and safety standards in the beer industry and have sketched a possible communication gap between brewers and consumers. Author: Sanne Lahaije Master’s Programme: Environment and Society Studies
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen