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  • Real Pork Trust Consortium

Initial Science Communication Research Calls for Increased Transparency

Initial research conducted by the RPTC science communication team was showcased at the National Agricultural Communications Symposium occurring as part of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists meeting in Atlanta, GA. Overall, their findings indicated the need to build trust with consumers through greater transparency across the entire food supply chain - and this is what we are trying to do as the Real Pork Trust Consortium Students engaged in the science behind how to build trust between U.S. consumers and the pork industry and showcased their work, including a review of:

  1. The literature surrounding U.S. consumers' concerns with the pork industry. We found six things that influence trust in livestock farmers: competence, credibility, reliability, integrity, benevolence, and providing information. We also found this trust positively influences future purchasing decisions, making livestock farmers' transparency and willingness to share information with consumers extremely important. We plan to train farmers to be more open about pork production through our RPTC training programs.

  2. Messaging strategies used by the National Pork Board on their social media channels. We found the National Pork Board has communicated about pork as a food item rather than sharing information about the pork production process in the past, indicating a need for the RPTC to increase transparency across the entire food supply chain. We plan to provide the science behind pork production practices and pork products in a way that is easy to understand and use when making purchasing decisions. Check out our information under the What We Do section on our website.

  3. Best practices pork industry professionals have used for reaching diverse audiences. We found consumers from diverse backgrounds have different needs so communication strategies should include discussions about cultural foodways and the central role of pork in non-Western diets. We also found we need to use a diverse range of communication channels to reach different types of people including face-to-face interactions, social media, and family-oriented approaches. We plan to conduct more research on the role culture plays in what we eat around the world and how pork is a part of these decisions. We also plan to provide a myriad of opportunities to engage with the science behind pork on our website, through videos, on social media, and at in-person activities. Stay tuned!


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