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The sceptical consumer? : exploring views about food assurance.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date12/2008
JournalFood Policy
Journal number6
Volume33
Number of pages7
Pages624-630
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The problem of trust in food production and regulation has increasingly been raised as a practical and policy issue in recent years and one solution has been to provide more and better information about food production and regulation, especially through food assurance schemes. To look for evidence that this might be successful, this paper uses a small empirical study of how UK consumers think about food information and food assurance claims, using a statement sorting exercise (Q methodology) to identify key factors or shared views. We found that our consumers, despite differences in sociodemographics, gender, diet and shopping habits, tended to share a baseline of scepticism about food information and food assurance claims. We speculate that such scepticism may mean that, rather than providing a solution to the problem of distrust, food assurance schemes may themselves come to be distrusted.