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Farmers tops in trustworthiness survey

When 1,000 consumers were asked who they trusted in the food system, farmers were the clear winners, said the economists overseeing the new Gardner Food and Agricultural Policy Survey on Thursday. Participants gave farmers an average score of 5.6 on a scale of 1 to 7.

Following were grocery stores (5), restaurants (4.6), food manufacturers (4.4), and government (3.6). A score of 7 would mean “trust very much,” a 4 would be “somewhat trust,” and 1 was “do not trust,” according to economists Maria Kalaitzandonakes and Jonathan Coppess of the University of Illinois and Brenna Ellison of Purdue University.

The Gardner survey will be conducted quarterly, said the economists, and will include a standard set of questions to monitor how public opinion changes over time about food and agricultural issues. In the debut survey, respondents overwhelmingly said food available to Americans is tasty, safe to eat, and accessible. The lowest scores on food were affordability, at 59%, and sustainability, at 57%.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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