Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Trust in Food

  • Andrzej Klimczuk
  • Magdalena Klimczuk-Kochańska
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_630-1


Trust is important in the food sector. This is primarily because households entrust some of the tasks related to food preparation to food processors. The public is concerned about pesticides, food additives, preservatives, and processed foods that may harbor unwanted chemicals or additives. After numerous food scandals, consumers expect food processing industries and retailers to take responsibility for food safety. Meanwhile, the food industry focuses on profit growth and costs reduction to achieve higher production efficiency and competitiveness. It means that they introduce innovations, such as new production methods, processing techniques, and additives. Consumers have to delegate the responsibility for ensuring food safety to food producers, retailers, and regulatory authorities who ensure that the foods are safe, healthy, and pose no risks. For consumers, trusting these actors can reduce feelings of uncertainty. It is helpful for companies to be responsible for their...


Consumer confidence Food risk Food safety Food scares 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bauer, R. A. (1967). Consumer behavior as risk taking. In D. F. Cox (Ed.), Risk taking and information handling in consumer behavior (pp. 23–33). Boston: Division of Research Graduate School of Business Administration Harvard University.Google Scholar
  2. Bildtgård, T. (2008). Trust in food in modern and late-modern societies. Information (International Social Science Council), 47(1), 99–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gandino, F., Montrucchio, B., Rebaudengo, M., & Sanchez, E. R. (2009). On Improving Automation by Integrating RFID in the Traceability Management of the Agri-Food Sector. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 56(7), 2357–2365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Giddens, A. (1990). The consequences of modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  5. Grunert, K. G. (2002). Current issues in the understanding of consumer food choice. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 13(8), 275–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kjærnes, U., & Dulsrud, A. (1998) Consumption and mechanisms of trust: Presented at the ESA subgroup ‘The Sociology of Consumption’, University of Milan, 16–17 Sept 1998Google Scholar
  7. Nambiar, A. N. (2010). Traceability in agri-food sector using RFID. 2010 International Symposium on Information Technology. Vol. 2. Kuala Lumpur: IEEE.Google Scholar
  8. Poortinga, W., & Pidgeon, N. F. (2003). Exploring the dimensionality of trust in risk regulation. Risk Analysis, 23(5), 961–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shapiro, S. P. (1987). The social control of impersonal trust. American Journal of Sociology, 93(3), 623–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Siegrist, M., Earle, T. C., & Gutscher, H. (2003). Test of a trust and confidence model in the applied context of electromagnetic field (EMF) risks. Risk Analysis, 23(4), 705–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Sztompka, P. (1999). Trust: A sociological theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Uzzi, B. (1997). Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: The paradox of embeddedness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(1), 35–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej Klimczuk
    • 1
  • Magdalena Klimczuk-Kochańska
    • 2
  1. 1.Collegium of Socio-EconomicsWarsaw School of EconomicsBiałystok-WarsawPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of ManagementUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland