Consumers are unaware there are differences between food standards in the US and UK, despite valuing animal welfare, traceability and food safety when shopping for food.
A Red Tractor survey in 2016 showed consumers believed animal welfare, supporting British producers and how food has been produced was important.
But when pressed on their perceptions of welfare in US, most consumers presumed standards in other developed countries would be similar to those in the UK, according to Red Tractor chief executive Jim Moseley.
Speaking at the Co-op’s farming conference, he said: “When you talk to consumer and drill down some of them are a bit confused."
“When consumers think about it they guess American would be pretty similar. They do think lots of other markets are similar.
“But, as we know, there are differences. Some of the things that the do may be seen suspiciously,” he said.
However, he added many typical consumers would be shocked at the standards seen in UK chicken sheds.
“As we start to get into Brexit talks and hear more, I think consumers will start to think about standards.”
Recent stories in the press surrounding chlorinated chicken from the US and scandals surrounding hepatitis E from German and Dutch pork and contaminated Dutch eggs have driven the public to value food safety even higher.
“A lot of consumers are also linking animal welfare with quality, they see free range as better quality,” he said.