Key findings include:
- 8 per cent dip in trust in UK food since the first Trust in Food Index as many consumers change shopping habits
- Four in ten shoppers say they don’t trust supermarkets, as people perceive that the quality of food they are buying is declining
- Consumers who switch to value ranges assume that production standards are weaker, despite many of these products being assured to high UK specifications
- 43 per cent of consumers fear that UK standards will be undermined by changing regulations and trade deals
It is encouraging to see that despite these pressures, overall trust in UK food remains high. This reflects the excellent quality of UK produce and the high animal welfare, safety and environmental standards our food is produced to.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT
Overall, trust in UK institutions has gone down in the past year, but there is still high levels of trust for British food.
The cost-of-living crisis is having a big impact on buying behaviour, as as people purchase less meat, fruit, and vegetables, and trade down to value ranges.
Four in ten shoppers say they believe they are now having to buy food produced to lower food safety and animal welfare standards
A strong assurance and regulatory system is the top reason why people trust British food
Consumers have concerns about the long-term impact of Brexit and trade deals on UK food, with 43 per cent of people worry about the prospect of more imported food
The food sector must work together to reassure consumers that the food safety and animal welfare standards of assured British food is high. It should never be a choice between high standards and price
WHILE BRITISH FOOD CONTINUES TO BE HIGHLY TRUSTED, OUR LATEST TRUST IN FOOD INDEX SHOWS THAT AS PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO TRADE DOWN INTO CHEAPER PRODUCTS, THEY LOSE CONFIDENCE IN THE WAY THE FOOD IS PRODUCED. THE INDUSTRY MUST WORK TOGETHER TO REASSURE CONSUMERS THAT WHATEVER THEIR BUDGET, THEY CAN BE CONFIDENT IN THE STANDARDS AND SAFETY OF BRITISH ASSURED FOOD.
THIS REPORT CONFIRMS THAT HIGH UK FOOD STANDARDS ARE THE NUMBER ONE DRIVER OF TRUST IN BRITISH FOOD. WORK AT THE FSA ENABLES PEOPLE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT THE FOOD THEY BUY, WHETHER FROM VALUE OR PREMIUM RANGES, MEETS THE SAME STANDARDS FOR FOOD SAFETY. WE ALSO SUPPORT SCHEMES LIKE RED TRACTOR THAT PROVIDE FURTHER ASSURANCES, HELPING PEOPLE TO CHECK THAT THE FOODS THEY CHOOSE HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLY SOURCED, INCLUDING HIGH ANIMAL WELFARE STANDARDS.