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  • Real Pork Trust Consortium

What is Trust and How Will We Build It?

The Real Pork Trust Consortium was built upon the premise that the pork industry needs to share scientific information so consumers have a TRUSTED source they can turn to when making decisions about the food they eat. One of the first questions the RPTC team asked themselves after being formed was "What is Trust?"

And when you ask 16 scientists this question, they all come up with a different answer. So, we did what we do best and dove into the scientific literature looking for answers. What we found was there are many definitions of trust. Two are most common:

  1. Trust is a felt attitude where one person trusts another cares about their needs and is acting out of goodwill.

  2. Trust is contextual and fully dependent upon the relationship between a truster and a trustee based on previous experience.


Either definition showcases trust is based on emotions, knowledge, beliefs and relationships.


The RPTC wants to

  • increase knowledge of pork production practices and pork as a product,

  • showcase the belief systems pig farmers have when it comes to raising their pigs, and

  • build relationships with consumers so we can do research that directly addresses their questions and concerns.


We want to bring emotion back to science - recognizing the food we all eat every day, and how it is produced is an emotional choice.


To get the conversation started on a broader platform, Dr. Fallys Masambuka-Kanchewa and Dr. Alexa Lamm partnered to engage agricultural communication faculty and students from across the U.S. in an interactive professional development session at the National Agricultural Communications Symposium in Atlanta, GA in early February in a discussion about trust building when wrestling with and developing best strategies for communicating effectively. We also discussed how we as a discipline can help consumers make informed choices starting with efforts like the Real Pork Trust Consortium.


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