Food safety: building consumer trust in livestock farmers for potential purchase behaviour

Wallace M.S. Yee (The University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Ruth M.W. Yeung (Cranfield University, Silsoe, UK)
Joe Morris (Cranfield University, Silsoe, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Food safety is an important issue facing consumers, the food industry and the government. Since consumers cannot themselves easily assess food safety risks, their perception of food safety is, in part, a matter of trust in the food chain. This study seeks to focus on livestock farmers and to investigate the causal relationship between the factors that determine consumer trust, regarding food safety and in turn their purchase likelihood.


By integrating theories developed in several disciplines, six factors, namely: providing information, competence, integrity, benevolence, credibility, and reliability were adopted for this study. The conceptual model was tested with a sample of 194 individuals in the form of a structural equation model using LISREL 8.30.


The research confirms that livestock farmers could draw benefit from strategies to increase their trustworthiness through provision of information, show their benevolence and integrity to consumers, and in turn positively influence consumers' purchasing decision.

Practical implications

Livestock farmers should understand more specifically what consumers want to know and provide accurate and reliable information.


This exploratory study provides a useful insight into the potential benefit from trust building that could be derived by livestock farmers, food safety regulators and the food supply chain as a whole, as well as the ways in which this might be achieved.



Yee, W., Yeung, R. and Morris, J. (2005), "Food safety: building consumer trust in livestock farmers for potential purchase behaviour", British Food Journal, Vol. 107 No. 11, pp. 841-854.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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