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Trust in Our Food: Understanding Food Supply Systems

How much do you trust your food? Learn about food supply systems, safety, sustainability, nutrition and quality.

8,210 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Can you trust your food? This course will help you understand the global food supply systems responsible for delivering safe, nutritious, high-quality, sustainable food to your plate. You’ll explore the processes and the people involved, reflect on what we mean by ‘trust’ and uncover the important role the consumer plays in improving the supply chain.

Is my food safe?

You’ll discover the regulations in place to ensure the food you buy is safe to eat whether it’s produced within Europe or further afield and explore the food scandals that shaped the legislation before reflecting on the risks foods might pose to our health and analysing your level of trust.

Is my food nutritious?

Learn all about food labels and what they can tell you about the processes involved in making products as well as the ingredients they contain. Understand the evidence producers must provide before they can make claims about their products and discover how to analyse food headlines so you can make informed choices.

Is my food sustainable?

You’ll discover ways you can find out by exploring assurance schemes, weigh up the various factors that influence how ethical production processes are and discuss how to take action to make a difference through consumer choice.

This activity has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Today, as consumers, we’re increasingly concerned about what we eat, what food to buy, and how to make healthier, safer and more sustainable food choices. By law, food produced for human consumption has to be safe, but it’s impossible to eliminate all risk. So how can we trust that the food system is well regulated to minimise any risk, and to ensure our food is safe to eat? We also want our food to be nutritious, but being surrounded by often conflicting information leaves us confused as to what is good for us. So how do we define nutrition and quality, and where can we find reliable information?

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds We now buy much of our food from supermarkets rather than directly from the farmer, but what are the production methods used to produce our food and how can we tell whether these production methods meet our own personal standards for environmental sustainability and animal welfare? On this course from EIT Food, you will start to explore some of these key questions. You will learn with experts from the University of Reading, the European Food Information Council, and the University of Torino, to consider the supply chains behind the food on our plate and learn how consumer trust is at the core of an effective future-proof food sector.


  • Week 1

    Food systems

    • Welcome

      Find out about what you will be learning, who will be guiding you and how the course is taught.

    • Consumer and trust

      Do you trust your food? Find out what we mean by exploring the levels of trust people have with their food, and the effects that marketing can have on a consumer when buying food.

    • Food supply systems

      An introduction to the global food system. Take a closer look at the journey food takes to reach you, find out who is involved, and the factors that determine consumers' trust in the processes in place.

    • Review and reflect

      Reflect on what you've learnt this week about the food supply system, consumer behaviour and the term 'trust' when it comes to food. Assess your knowledge and begin to think about how you can take action.

  • Week 2

    Food safety

    • Welcome

      Find out what will be covered this week when you focus on ‘food safety’. Hear people’s thoughts about what it means to them as well as exploring your own ideas.

    • What is food safety?

      What are the risks involved with the food you eat? Find out over the next few Steps what food safety means, and explore the measures put in place to make your food safe through our first case study: bagged salad.

    • Food scandals

      Take a look at the food scandals that pushed for a response in food safety, and explore the regulations that are now in place that aim to protect your health when consuming food.

    • Review and reflect

      Reflect on what you've learnt this week about food safety and how it affects your own trust in food. Assess your knowledge and think about how you can take action.

  • Week 3

    Nutrition and Quality

    • Welcome

      Find out what will be covered this week with trust in food, when we focus on ‘nutrition and quality’. Hear people’s thoughts about what it means to them as well as exploring your own ideas.

    • What is nutritional value?

      Are you more conscious of what you eat? Is cheaper better or worse? Through our next case study, take a look at what a food label can really tell you to help you make more informed decisions when choosing what to eat or drink

    • Who to listen to?

      With an array of information readily available about what’s good to eat and what isn’t, how do you make an informed decision about what food works for you? In the next few Steps we explore the options available to you.

    • Review and reflect

      Reflect on what you've learnt this week about nutrition and quality and how it affects your own trust in food. Assess your knowledge and think about how you can take action.

  • Week 4


    • Welcome

      Find out what will be covered this week with trust in food, when we focus on ‘sustainability'. Hear people’s thoughts about what it means to them as well as exploring your own ideas.

    • What is sustainability?

      In the next few Steps you explore what sustainable and ethical food production means through our last case study: meat steak.

    • The framework

      In the next few Steps you take a closer look at the assurance schemes that set out unique set of standards that food products have to meet, which help reassure consumers and help build trust when buying food.

    • Review and reflect

      Reflect on what you've learnt this week about sustainability and ethical production and how it affects your own trust in food. Assess your knowledge and think about how you can take action.

    • Agents of change

      In this final activity, let’s review what you’ve learnt over the entire course and we leave you with our final thoughts to your next steps.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the complexity of the global food system and the issues that affect consumer trust in food
  • Identify the key factors involved in food safety
  • Assess different sources of nutritional information
  • Synthesise the different food labels that provide assurances to consumers
  • Debate how your choices reflect your values
  • Reflect on the role of the consumer in influencing the food supply system

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in learning about where their food comes from.

The Educator team won’t be available to answer questions or respond to your comments during this course. However, we encourage you to interact and support each other by posting your thoughts and comments and sharing your knowledge with other learners

Who will you learn with?

I am a Senior Research Fellow in the School of
Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading.
My research focuses on sustainable agriculture and enhancing fieldwork learning.

I’m a professor in food microbiology at the University of Torino, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences. My research focuses on food safety and microbial ecology of fermented foods.

I am a Senior Manager at the European Food Information Council. My role is creating science-based content on nutrition and health whilst leading communication activities for EU research projects.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

University of Reading

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

The European Institute of Innovation & Technology strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial skills in Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem.

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