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THE PEOPLE BUY AND TRUST BRITISH FOOD MORE THAN THE GOVERNMENT DOES – The Radical

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High standards and regulations aid consumers’

trust in British food

High standards and regulations are major factors behind consumers’ trust in British food, with the sector ranking as high as the NHS in terms of trustworthiness.

The UK’s first ‘Trust in Food’ Index, launched today (October 8) by Red Tractor (RT) and YouGov, showed 48 per cent saw high standards and regulations as important.

 

While only 2 per cent said assurance schemes such as RT and British Lion helped them trust the quality of food, 70 per cent felt inspection and assurance schemes played a greater role than the Government (64 per cent), farmers (63 per cent) and food processors and brands (47 per cent) in ensuring the UK’s food is safe and of good quality.

 

Of more than 3,500 respondents, 74 per cent recognised RT, above RSPCA Assured at 47 per cent.

 

Butchers

 

On where they purchase food, specialist outlets such as butchers ranked top (86 per cent), followed by outdoor farmers’ markets (79 per cent) and supermarkets (78 per cent).

 

Significantly, while 84 per cent of UK consumers trust food from Britain, levels of trust in food from outside the UK vary.

 

Ireland and New Zealand maintain the highest levels of trust amongst UK consumers, followed by leading EU food producers such as Sweden, Germany, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands.

 

Only 25 per cent of Brits trust food from the US and just 11 per cent trust food from China.

 

Neil Parish, Efra Select Committee chair, said: “It is important that the public’s confidence is maintained, which is why our farming sector must have the full support of the Government in upholding the highest standards while delivering affordable, healthy food.

 

“As the Government looks to introduce its new, more environmentally-focussed system of financial support for farmers, it is important that this agricultural transition does not present farmers with a choice between financial stability and high standards.”


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Positive impact

 

Shoppers see UK farmers as performing well on animal welfare (59 per cent), contributing to the community (52 per cent) and having a positive impact on the local landscape (50 per cent).

 

However, farmers are less trusted on issues such as the use of chemical fertilisers (25 per cent) and on plastic waste (27 per cent).

 

They see carbon emissions as the second most important area of responsibility for food producers, above the use of fertilisers and impacts on local wildlife, but only 27 per cent feel they are performing well in this area.

 

People in Scotland and Wales have a greater level of trust in food that originates from their own nation, at 91 per cent and 92 per cent respectively, with 84 per cent of English shoppers trusting food which originates in England.

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