A model for (re)building consumer trust in the food system

Annabelle M. Wilson, Elizabeth Withall, John Coveney, Samantha B. Meyer, Julie Henderson, Dean McCullum, Trevor Webb, Paul R. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The article presents a best practice model that can be utilized by food system actors to assist with (re) building trust in the food system, before, during and after a food incident defined as 'any situation within the food supply chain where there is a risk or potential risk of illness or confirmed illness or injury associated with the consumption of a food or foods' (Commonwealth of Australia. National Food Incident Response Protocol. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2012). Interviews were undertaken with 105 actors working within the media, food industry and food regulatory settings across Australia, New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK). Interview data produced strategy statements, which indicated participant views on how to (re)build consumer trust in the food system. These included: (i) be transparent, (ii) have protocols and procedures in place, (iii) be credible, (iv) be proactive, (v) put consumers first, (vi) collaborate with stakeholders, (vii) be consistent, (viii) educate stakeholders and consumers, (ix) build your reputation and (x) keep your promises. A survey was designed to enable participants to indicate their agreement/disagreement with the ideas, rate their importance and provide further comment. The five strategies considered key to (re)building consumer trust were used to develop a model demonstrating best practice strategies for (re)building consumer trust in the food system before, during and after a food incident. In a world where the food system is increasingly complex, strategies for (re)building and fostering consumer trust are important. This study offers a model to do so which is derived from the views and experiences of actors working across the food industry, food regulation and the media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-1000
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number6
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Food
  • food incident
  • food industry
  • food regulator
  • media
  • trust


Dive into the research topics of 'A model for (re)building consumer trust in the food system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this