Farmers are the most trusted part of the Australian food chain: results from a national survey of consumers
Article first published online: 2 AUG 2011
© 2011 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2011 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 319–324, August 2011
How to Cite
Henderson, J., Coveney, J., Ward, P. R. and Taylor, A. W. (2011), Farmers are the most trusted part of the Australian food chain: results from a national survey of consumers. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35: 319–324. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00725.x
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 2 AUG 2011
- Submitted: September 2010 Revision requested: January 2011 Accepted: March 2011
- Food safety;
- public health;
Objective: Trust is a crucial component of food safety and governance. This research surveyed a random selection of the population to examine its level of trust in a variety of ‘actors’ and organisations in the food chain.
Methods: A computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) survey addressing trust in the food system was administrated during October to December 2009 to a random sample of 1,109 participants across all states (response rate 41.2%).
Results: Farmers enjoyed high levels of trust, whereas politicians were considered less trustworthy. Supermarkets were afforded more trust than media and news outlets. Logistic regression analysis determined that two socio-demographic variables – age and education level – were significantly associated with trust in food actors, with young people finding the media the least trustworthy.
Conclusions: Our respondents invested the most trust in farmers, possibly indicating an awareness and appreciation of primary food production among the Australian public. The finding that young people's trust in the media is low challenges media use in social marketing campaigns aimed to improve health and nutrition in younger age groups.
Implications: Health education, including nutrition education, needs to consider the channels of communication most suited to age and social grouping.