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The Effect of Consumers’ Trust on Stated Responses to Food Safety Incidents: Case of Meat in Canada and the U.S

Listed author(s):
  • Muringai, Violet
  • Goddard, Ellen W.

In this study the effect of consumers’ trust in agencies on risk perceptions, risk attitudes and selfreported responses to food safety events is assessed. The particular focus is on how trust has influenced self-reported reductions in consumption of beef in the U.S. and Canada, and pork in Canada arising from food safety concerns. Data for this analysis was collected through online surveys and was analysed using tobit and probit models. Results show that general trust significantly influences risk perceptions and risk attitudes about beef and pork consumption in Canada and beef consumption in the U.S. Although there are some variations in results, trust in agencies significantly influence risk perceptions, risk attitudes and reductions in consumption of beef and pork in Canada and beef in the U.S. Compared to males, female respondents have higher risk perceptions and lower risk attitudes about beef and pork in Canada and beef in the U.S. and were more likely to reduce their pork consumption in Canada and beef in the U.S. Respondents that recalled a food safety event had higher risk perceptions and significantly reduced their meat consumption in both countries. Respondents that perceived the consumption of beef and pork as being risky reported that they had significantly reduced their consumption of these meats while those that were more willing to accept the risks of consuming these meats reported that they had not changed their consumption levels. Results suggest that risk perceptions, risk attitudes and trust play significant roles in terms of influencing consumer response to food safety concerns. The occurrence of food safety incidents in one period can influence consumer responses to later food safety incidents through the effect on changing risk perceptions, risk attitudes and trust in the food system.

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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington with number 124800.

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Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124800
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  1. Gianluca Stefani & Alessio Cavicchi & Donato Romano & Alexandra E. Lobb, 2008. "Determinants of intention to purchase chicken in Italy: the role of consumer risk perception and trust in different information sources," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 523-537.
  2. Jun Yang & Ellen Goddard, 2011. "Canadian Consumer Responses to BSE with Heterogeneous Risk Perceptions and Risk Attitudes," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 59(4), pages 493-518, December.
  3. Schroeder Ted C. & Tonsor Glynn T. & Pennings Joost M.E. & Mintert James, 2007. "Consumer Food Safety Risk Perceptions and Attitudes: Impacts on Beef Consumption across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-29, December.
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