This study investigates how social representations and consumers' identification with organic food consumers affects intentions to buy products that make environmental and ethical claims. For the purposes of the study, an online panel study was conducted on a representative sample of consumers (n=1006) in the United Kingdom. The results demonstrate that consumers who are adherent to natural foods or technology and do not perceive food as a necessity are more willing to buy environmentally friendly and ethical products. There seems to be no relationship between perceptions of food as a source of enjoyment and intentions to buy sustainable products. Finally, social identification with the organic consumer is positively related with the intentions to buy products that make environmental and ethical claims. The current research demonstrates that both individual perceptions of food and consumers' perceptions of the social environment play an important role in promoting environmentally friendly and ethical behaviour. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.