Food quality, safety, and trust since 1950: Societal Controversy and Biotechnical Challenges

Project Details


This project focuses on the years leading up to food scandals using a long-term framework to interpret changes in representation of food safety and food quality and consumer trust. The nature of shopping for everyday food changed drastically throughout the second half of the 20th century. Supermarkets took over Western-European retail structures and became the most important place of shopping for food (with up to 90 % of total food sales). This drastically changed the foundations of trust. Whilst small-scale counter shops used personal contacts to instigate bonds of trust, the nature of supermarkets forced these to use a faceless brand to make contact with the customer. Trust in people needed to change to confidence in an institutional system. A strong and trustworthy brand identity, whether this was the chain or the supermarket as a concept, was needed to assure a constant flow of customers. The central focus of this study will be on the way these large-scale retailers formed bonds of trust with the consumers in Belgium.
Effective start/end date1/01/1331/12/17


  • Food quality, safety, and trust since 1950

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Other philosophy, ethics and religious studies not elsewhere classified
  • History of historical culture


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