EIT Food TrustTracker®
While the food industry is eager to improve its offerings in the market to address consumer health and current environmental needs, one of the biggest challenges it faces is consumers’ trust in the food sector. Efforts to close the gap between what consumers want and need and what the food industry as a whole provides, highlight the role of many different actors (retailers, manufacturers, government authorities and farmers) and the need for adequate tools to measure consumer trust, without which it is not possible to understand and improve their confidence in food products and technologies. Understanding consumer trust is crucial to a safer, more transparent, and reliable food system.
As an important part of understanding this gap, the EIT Food TrustTracker® project, led by the University of Reading, Aarhus University, KU Leuven, the University of Warsaw, and the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), has developed a framework to measure and monitor consumer trust in the food industry. This allows them to map European consumers' trust in the food value chain and its different actors - from farm to fork to policy.
With data tracked annually, the evidence-based model examines differences within countries and actors, leading the way in driving awareness of consumer trust issues throughout the European market. allowing us to monitor the developments and compare trust levels over time. Starting with five core European countries in 2018 and increasing these over the years, more than 23,000 consumers from 18 different European countries (BE, CH, CZ, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GR, IE, IL, IT, NL, PL, PT, RO, TR, UK) were surveyed in 2022.
Results from the TrustTracker® show that people who exhibit trust in the food value chain (and its actors) are more confident about the integrity of their food and food technology. This underpins the link between trust and its effects which can become key in getting consumers on board with innovative and, e.g., plant-based diets that can move the EU towards a healthier and more sustainable food system.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under programme agreement no. 18273.
Among the five EIT Food partners behind the development of the model, the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) leads the dissemination and outreach of the TrustTracker® project, taking charge of the science communication strategy, besides contributing to the model development, survey implementation and data analysis, as well as the conceptualization of the business model. This includes communicating and disseminating project results to different audiences via numerous outputs (e.g., data visualization images and animations, infographics, videos, news releases, testimonials, and presentation material such as leaflets and roll-ups) and channels (events, website, and social media). A few examples of these outputs are shown below:
Visual introduction of the TrustTracker®
Animated visualization of TrustTracker® results
Presentation material showcasing the TrustTracker® project for the EIT Food event in 2021
Brochure for the TrustTracker® business model developed for the Danish market
For further information, visit https://www.eitfood.eu/projects/eit-food-trusttracker, where you will be able to find all the project results and outputs.