Public Gives Farmers Top Marks on Food Safety

25th Aug 2016 12:52 PM

A new survey has shown that consumers have more trust in farmers to make sure food is safe than government or supermarkets.
The British Social Attitudes survey from social research institute NatCen, uncovers for the first time who the British public trust when it comes to the food supply chain.
The results may not come as a surprise to some particularly in view of the recent horsemeat scandal with only 33% of people surveyed said they trust the government a “great deal” or “quite a lot” to make sure food is safe to eat.
A similar proportion – 34% – said they trusted supermarkets, but 29% said they do not trust the government “very much” or “at all” and 26% said this about supermarkets.
The survey also revealed just over half of people (58%) were sure that food from Britain was prepared to the highest quality standards. However, less than one-quarter (23%) thought this about imported food. 
Confidence in the quality of food produced in Britain was just over 50% and was higher than levels of confidence in imported food, trust in the government, supermarkets and food manufacturers. This could be attributed to the fact these organisations are viewed as being motivated by profit either directly or indirectly or it may be the result of previous food scares.
Positive view of farmers
The public’s opinion of farmers and farming is increasingly positive. According to an NFU-commissioned survey published in June, more than two-thirds of people polled said they actively support farming, with 69% saying they have a favourable view of British farmers – a 9% rise since 2012.
The survey provides further evidence that consumers are asking questions about where their food comes from.
The 2015 British Social Attitudes survey polled 4,328 adults in Britain with a response rate of 51%. Interviewing was carried out between 4 July and 2 November 2015.