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Food-system actors’ perspectives on trust: an international comparison

Tonkin, Emma, Wilson, Annabelle M., Coveney, John, Henderson, Julie, Meyer, Samantha B., McCarthy, Mary, O’Reilly, Seamus, Calnan, Michael .W., McGloin, Aileen, Kelly,, Edel, and others. (2019) Food-system actors’ perspectives on trust: an international comparison. British Food Journal, 121 (25). pp. 561-573. ISSN 0007-070X. (doi:10.1108/BFJ-05-2018-0291) (KAR id:69071)



This international comparison study compares the perspectives of actors who contribute to trust in

the food system in four high income countries which have diverse food incident histories: Australia,

New Zealand (NZ), the United Kingdom (UK) and the Island of Ireland (IOI), focusing on their

communication with the public, and their approach to food system interrelationships.


Data were collected in two separate studies; the first in Australia, New Zealand and the United

Kingdom (Study 1), and the second on the Island of Ireland (Study 2). In-depth interviews were

conducted with media, food industry and food regulatory actors across the four regions (n=105

Study 1; n=50 Study 2). Analysis focused on identifying similarities and differences in the

perspectives of actors from the four regions regarding the key themes of communication with the

public, and relationships between media, industry and regulators.


While there were many similarities in the way food system actors from the four regions discussed

(re)building trust in the context of a food incident, their perceptions differed in a number of critical

ways regarding food system actor use of social media, and the attitudes and approaches towards

relationships between food system actors.


This paper outlines opportunities for the regions studied to learn from each other when looking for

practical strategies to maximise consumer trust in the food system, particularly relating to the use of

social media and attitudes toward role definition in industry-regulator relationships.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/BFJ-05-2018-0291
Uncontrolled keywords: Food; food system; food scare; consumer; trust; social media
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Michael Calnan
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 09:31 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2022 22:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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