Consumer Confidence in Food: Interpretations from West Yorkshire: A Study of Big Data, Food Safety and Food Fraud

Wednesday 28 March 2018, 12.30PM to 1.30pm

Speaker(s): Susan Moore, The York Management School

Confidence, or trust, is a rare and fragile state, with distrust being prevalent within UK society. This innovative mixed methods study takes the Horsemeat Scandal of 2013 in the UK as the starting point to examine qualitatively instances of trust, distrust, and anxiety (Jackson, 2015) within a sample of Big Data. The deciphered consumer attitudes (Tse, Zhang, Doherty, Chappell and Garnett, 2016) and judgements (Hardin, 2006) are to be subsequently tested with consumers in 2018.

Whilst being rare and fragile, trust is intrinsically bound up with happiness and well-being (Layard, 2018; Layard, Sacks and Jeffries, 2017; OECD, 2017) and a key activity of the study is to assess the key factors that impact on how trust is maintained in commodities that are so fundamental to health. Yet paradoxically, evidence suggests large numbers of people are increasingly disconnected from their food and its place in the system of production and consumption (West, Doherty and Heron, 2018; Jackson, 2015).

This can result in risks due to vulnerabilities, related to food safety and food fraud, which the UK regulators, industry and policy makers seem to have in their sights. Does prioritising these factors maintain consumer confidence in food or does the experience of a number of consumers in West Yorkshire suggest otherwise?

Location: LMB/102b