Consumers trust farmers more than the Government and supermarkets to make sure their food is safe to eat.
The British Social Attitudes survey, which gathered responses from more than 2,000 members of the public, found 58 per cent trusted farmers, 34 per cent trust supermarkets and just 33 per cent trusted the Government.
More than 80 per cent said it mattered the food they bought was healthy and 58 per cent felt it was important farmers and growers were paid a fair price.
The figures, revealed by independent social research organisation NatCen, also showed the public (69 per cent) preferred food which had been through minimal processing.
However, just 35 per cent thought it mattered the food was grown locally.
Women and older people were more likely to say these issues mattered to them.
Just over half of people (58 per cent) were sure food from Britain was prepared to the highest quality standards. Less than a quarter (23 per cent) thought this about food from abroad.
Caireen Roberts, research director at NatCen Social Research said: “While confidence in the quality of food produced in Britain was just over 50 per cent, it was higher than levels of confidence in imported food and we also saw low levels of trust in the Government, supermarkets and food manufacturers.
“This may be because these organisations are viewed as being motivated by profit, either directly or indirectly, or it may be the result of previous food scares.”