The Focus Group meeting took place on March 28th, 2023, via ZOOM, starting at 10:00 until 11:30.
SEAL CYPRUS invited 5 participants representing organisations active in the field of sustainable and environmentally friendly development from both communities on the island of Cyprus. The organisations invited were selected because of their experience in the field, as well as their links to the local communities and their ability to raise awareness.
The Focus Group meeting started with welcoming and thanking the participants for their time, followed by a brief presentation of the Project ECHO. SEAL CYPRUS presented the partnership, the objectives and Project Results, along with the project website.
Next, it was introduced the objective of the Focus Group; can there be a behavioural change of the individual consumers towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly eating habits, behaviours and models?
Five facilitation questions were presented:
Q1: What do community members know about Consumption Behavioural Change?
Q2: Do stakeholders view Consumption Behavioural Change as an important issue, & how concerned are they about it?
Q3: What is your current understanding and perception of the topic?
Q4: What has been done about & ideas for future strategies to address Consumption Behavioural Change?
Q5: Ideas for messages and educational materials about training individuals towards a sustainable consumption behavioural change
Dogan Alpturk (The Management Center of the Mediterranean ) opened the discussion by stating that, at the moment, what is happening is enforcement of changing our habits, not training and educating consumers.
Sotira Kouvaras (Wisefour) stated that educating consumers costs money, but it is worth doing it, and to get the best results, the Government needs to step in and take an active and leading role.
Antonios Magalios (SISTEMA CYPRUS) stressed that a combination of non-formal and formal education, like theatre, is the best pattern that will lead to the desired results.
Katerina Papadopoulos (SYNTHESIS Center for Research and Education) mentioned that the use of human psychology and marketing sciences would bring the desired change, which is a hard and long process.
Salih Bahceci (HASDER) proposed the use of products alternatively; prolonging the product life is crucial. Also, he stated that social media play a big role in forming consumer habits and patterns because they have become a means of influencing. However, Salih stressed the emotional connection to a product which plays a vital role in the decision-making of consumers.