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Public Perceptions of the U.S. Food System

The Gardner Food and Agricultural Policy Survey recently completed two years of tracking consumer sentiment on a multitude of food and agricultural policy issues.

The survey found that a large majority of consumers believe the food system produces food that tastes good, is accessible, and safe to eat. Consumers also believe the American food system produces food that’s healthy and sustainable and provides healthy returns to supply chain members. Perceptions of the food system seem relatively stable. Perceptions of food system affordability have seen the most change during the past two years.

The share of consumers who agree that food is affordable continued to decline during the past two years, hitting a low of 49 percent agreement in August 2023. However, consumer outlook on affordability has gradually started to improve since then. Looking at different segments of the supply chain, the study finds that farmers continue to be the most trusted.

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