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Abstract

Many consumers lack insight into today's complex food production systems. This paper investigates the relationship between consumer confidence in the safety of food in general and consumer trust in particular institutions and organisations. The first aim of the study was to develop and validate a scale to measure general consumer confidence in the safety of food. From the analysis, two distinct dimensions emerged that were labelled optimism and pessimism. The second aim of this study was to investigate to what extent general consumer confidence in the safety of food was related to consumer trust in institutions and organisations responsible for the management of food safety, taking into account three underlying dimensions of trust, namely competence, openness and care for public wellbeing. The results indicate that the degree to which trust was related to optimism and pessimism was dependent upon both the actor and the dimension of trust.

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