BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 12 September '16

Shoppers expect business and government to ‘make food fairer’

Research from GlobeScan and the Fairtrade Foundation reveals the vast majority of British consumers believe it’s the responsibility of businesses and the government to ‘make food fair’.

92% of shoppers said food companies should ensure food production is fair and sustainable, while 85% said they expected the government to take responsibility.

Willing to pay more

Consumers also want the people who grow their food to be protected from unfair trade such as low prices – 63% believe UK farmers and 64% believe that farmers in developing countries are underpaid for their produce.

While two-thirds (65%) believe that responsibly produced food is more expensive, 58% would be willing to pay more if they knew products were delivering a better price and fairer wages for farmers and workers. 53% would accept higher prices for food that’s been produced in an environmentally friendly way.

‘This research shows very clearly that British consumers expect businesses and government to take action to ensure the fairness and long-term sustainability of food production, both here at home and in developing countries. It is important for retailers and food companies, alongside government, to respond to this and take appropriate steps towards meeting these expectations.’

ABBIE CURTIS
Senior project manager, GlobeScan

Consumers recognise a link between low prices and unsustainable food production, only 43% connect this with the future availability of food and 55% understand the risks posed by climate change to food supply chains are significant.

Still, three-quarters of respondents (74%) agree that we need to take some steps to ensure sustainable food production for future generations.

Prioritising human rights

Shoppers believe that avoiding child and slave labour should be priorities for the government in improving food production, followed by food safety and safe working conditions for producers. 

‘British people are giving a strong message to companies and the government about the kind of trade we want to see and now, more than ever, they must prioritise fairer, greener, more sustainable food production. Therefore progressive, responsible businesses will want to respond to their customers’ desire to see them treat farmers and workers fairly.

‘And the public’s views on the importance of ensuring the human rights of farmers and workers is a clear sign to the government to prioritise these issues and improve working conditions across supply chains.’

MICHAEL GIDNEY
CEO, Fairtrade Foundation

Click here to read the full report, Assessing public support for regulation for fairer trading practices.