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Reconnecting Australian consumers and producers: Identifying problems of distrust


  • Meyer, Samantha B.
  • Coveney, John
  • Henderson, Julie
  • Ward, Paul R.
  • Taylor, Anne W.


A growing gap between the production and consumption of food has led to a decline in consumer trust in food, and a desire for increased regulation of food. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of consumer trust in food production and regulation in the wake of shifts in food technology, globalisation and production. Semi-structured interviews (n=47) were conducted in 2009 with participants living in rural and metropolitan South Australia. Rural participants were more trusting of food production because of their direct experience with producing food than their metropolitan counterparts. Consumers’ embeddedness in food production impacts their trust in food. Increasing local food production and consumption may increase consumer trust in food, and decrease consumer dependence on government regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Meyer, Samantha B. & Coveney, John & Henderson, Julie & Ward, Paul R. & Taylor, Anne W., 2012. "Reconnecting Australian consumers and producers: Identifying problems of distrust," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 634-640.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:6:p:634-640
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.07.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Unni Kjærnes, 2006. "Trust and Distrust: Cognitive Decisions or Social Relations?," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(8), pages 911-932, December.
    2. Fritz, Melanie & Fischer, Christian, 2007. "The Role of Trust in European Food Chains: Theory and Empirical Findings," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 10(02).
    3. Lupton, Deborah, 1997. "Consumerism, reflexivity and the medical encounter," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 373-381, August.
    4. Patricia Allen, 1999. "Reweaving the food security safety net: Mediating entitlement and entrepreneurship," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 16(2), pages 117-129, June.
    5. Costa-Font, Montserrat & Gil, José M. & Traill, W. Bruce, 2008. "Consumer acceptance, valuation of and attitudes towards genetically modified food: Review and implications for food policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 99-111, April.
    6. Gilson, Lucy, 2003. "Trust and the development of health care as a social institution," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1453-1468, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elisa Giampietri & Dieter B. A. Koemle & Xiaohua Yu & Adele Finco, 2016. "Consumers’ Sense of Farmers’ Markets: Tasting Sustainability or Just Purchasing Food?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-14, November.
    2. Quentin Farmar-Bowers, 2015. "Finding Ways to Improve Australia’s Food Security Situation," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-27, May.
    3. Tonkin, Emma & Meyer, Samantha B. & Coveney, John & Webb, Trevor & Wilson, Annabelle M., 2016. "The process of making trust related judgements through interaction with food labelling," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-11.

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    Food; Trust; Australia; Production; Consumption; Embed;


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