Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 427–442

From Trust to Trustworthiness: Why Information is not Enough in the Food Sector

  • Franck L. B. Meijboom
  • Tatjana Visak
  • Frans W. A. Brom
Open Access
OriginalPaper

DOI: 10.1007/s10806-006-9000-2

Cite this article as:
Meijboom, F.L.B., Visak, T. & Brom, F.W.A. J Agric Environ Ethics (2006) 19: 427. doi:10.1007/s10806-006-9000-2

Abstract

The many well-publicized food scandals in recent years have resulted in a general state of vulnerable trust. As a result, building consumer trust has become an important goal in agri-food policy. In their efforts to protect trust in the agricultural and food sector, governments and industries have tended to consider the problem of trust as merely a matter of informing consumers on risks. In this article, we argue that the food sector better addresses the problem of trust from the perspective of the trustworthiness of the food sector itself. This broad idea for changing the focus of trust is the assumption that if you want to be trusted, you should be trustworthy. To provide a clear understanding of what being trustworthy means within the food sector, we elaborate on both the concept of trust and of responsibility. In this way we show that policy focused on enhancing transparency and providing information to consumers is crucial, but not sufficient for dealing with the problem of consumer trust in the current agri-food context.

Keywords

food food policy responsibility trust trustworthiness 

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franck L. B. Meijboom
    • 1
  • Tatjana Visak
    • 1
  • Frans W. A. Brom
    • 1
  1. 1.Ethiek InstituutUtrecht UniversityCS UtrechtThe Netherlands

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