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Abstract

Little consumer knowledge about agriculture and livestock production as well as mounting concerns about the consequences of modern animal husbandry are pivotal aspects of the growing gap between famers and society. Literature shows that trust can play an important role in situations characterized by limited knowledge. In this paper a salient value similarity approach to social trust is adopted where social trust is placed on people that are perceived to hold similar goals. Determinants of social trust in farmers are examined and the influence of messages about livestock production is analyzed. The study is based on data from an online survey among 1,600 German participants containing an information treatment. Results confirm literature in that positive information increases, while negative information decreases social trust. We show that salient value similarity between consumers and farmers has a high positive influence on social trust in farmers, and moderates the effects of the perceived sender of the message

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