UK: Farmers the most trusted part of the supply chain

Demand for transparency continues
calendar icon 5 December 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

The latest results of a Agriculture and Horticulture Department Board (AHDB) study show consumer perceptions of agriculture remain positive.

The UK levy board, which represents farmers, growers and others in the supply chain, has been monitoring consumer trust since 2019.

The results of the AHDB/Blue Marble study found almost two thirds (63%) feel very or somewhat positive towards British agriculture. The same study yielded particularly positive results last year. This year's results are in line with those of 2019.

Within the supply chain, farmers are by far the most trusted group. Consumers trust farmers (70%) more than retailers (53%), the second most positive group within the supply chain. The study found that consumers valued farmers for their expertise, and their care for the environment and animal welfare.

While the top-of-mind concern in 2019 was Brexit, focus shifted in 2020 to Covid-19. In 2021, consumers expressed more concern for the environment, in particular plastic pollution and climate change, as well as animal welfare, said the report.

The study found that consumers would like to see greater transparency when making decisions around the food they choose to purchase. Some 87% said they would find it helpful to have labelling on how and where animals are raised, and 79% want to know how much time animals spend outdoors. Another 81% want sustainability labels on products.

"When considering labelling it is vital that any schemes consider animal health and welfare outcomes rather than purely system of production as consumers are concerned about a whole spectrum of welfare issues unrelated to outdoor access," concluded the AHDB report.

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