Consumer trust in UK food has taken a dip, with many shoppers expressing distrust for supermarkets and expecting standards to be undermined by changing regulations and international trade deals.
The second Red Tractor ‘Trust in Food’ survey was conducted as shoppers began changing their buying habits because of the cost-of-living crisis. Almost a quarter of respondents said they were ‘trading down’, buying what they perceive to be food produced to lower food safety and animal welfare standards.
Last year, 78% of people said they trusted the safety and quality of food purchased from supermarkets – this year, only 58% said the same, a striking 20% loss of trust. However a majority of shoppers backed the UK’s assurance schemes, with seven out of ten people looking to assured food marques to ensure food is safe and produced to a high quality, with British Lion, Red Tractor and Fair Trade the most recognised among consumers.
The Index also found that people believe Brexit is having an impact on food – 26% of respondents said they felt the quality of food in the UK had been falling over the last two years, while 43% believed that new trade deals would reduce standards of food in the UK further. The US and India – both countries the UK Government is seeking trade deals with – have very low levels of trust.