Retailers, food businesses and the government must do more to contribute to fairer food production a new consumer survey has revealed.

According to the Fairtrade Foundation, 45% of consumers believe that retailers have “a great deal of responsibility” to contribute to sustainable food production, while 42% think the government has.

Meanwhile, 52% think that the food companies themselves “have a great deal of responsibility.”

Consumers currently believe that retailers and food businesses fall below expectations when it comes to acting on responsible food production, with 36% of consumers saying that they have “a lot of room for improvement.”

In addition, over half of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for products that have been produced ethically.

Almost 60% of consumers are prepared to pay more for food produced by people who are paid fairly and whose human rights are respected, while 53% say they would pay more for food that does not damage the environment in the long term.

Support for higher prices is larger among high-income households, yet over half (51%) of those in lower-income households also say they are prepared to pay more.

More than half (56%) of consumers would also like to find out more about how their food is produced, with female consumers considerably more interested in this than their male counterparts.

Younger consumers are also more interested than their older peers in finding out more about how their food is produced.

Michael Gidney, chief executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “British people are giving a strong message to companies and the government about the kind of trade we want to see and now, more than ever, they must prioritise fairer, greener, more sustainable food production. Therefore progressive, responsible businesses will want to respond to their customers’ desire to see them treat farmers and workers fairly.