43% of shoppers don’t trust supermarkets amid cost-of-living crisis

Brits have increasing concerns surrounding UK food and supermarkets due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, The Red Tractor ‘Trust in Food’ index has revealed.

According to research conducted by market research firm, YouGov with over 3,500 adults, four in 10 admitted to not trusting supermarkets, believing the quality of food being sold is declining.

Just under half (43%) feared that UK standards will be undermined by changing regulations and trade deals.

Despite many value ranges being assured to high UK specifications, the survey found that consumers switching to these products assume production standards to be weaker.

Many of these changing consumer habits are a result of the cost-of-living crisis which has seen 30% of UK households purchasing less meat, while 13% are reducing the amount of fruit and vegetables they buy.

Over half (55%) of shoppers who do trust UK food agreed this is due to the UK’s high standards and regulations and 69% look to food marques and assurance schemes such as British Lion, Red Tractor and Fair Trade to ensure their food is safe and of high quality.

READ MORE: Average UK food bill climbs to £454 a year as inflation hits 9.9%

“With the impact of the war in Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis taking hold, it’s no surprise that confidence in so many aspects of daily life has fallen,” Red Tractor chair, Christine Tacon said.

“Whilst some shoppers now struggle to afford the prime cuts and choice ingredients, if they buy assured British food, the strict regulations on food safety, animal welfare and other aspects of food production, apply equally to value ranges as they do to premium products.

“We must tackle this before the drop in trust becomes toxic, by making it clear to people doing their shopping.”

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee chair and MP for Scarborough and Whitby, Sir Robert Goodwill added: “As the government looks to grapple with the increased costs that our food producers and consumers face – and the impact this is having on our food security – we may have to revisit the balance we strike between the food we import and the food we grow ourselves.

“If we are to seek to grow more food ourselves, it will be vital to maintain trust in the UK food system and to ensure that no one has to compromise standards for price.”

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