Food Marketing Ethics

Morven McEachern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Food ethics is a broad, interdisciplinary subject area that covers production, manufacturing, retailing, consumer choices, consumption and disposal. However, until a series of food safety incidents throughout the mid-1990’s and early 21st century, the topic of food ethics wasn’t given much prominence. After much media coverage of various food scares and a growing relationship of distrust between producers and consumers, pressure from NGOs and consumers for greater regulatory policies and transparent information about our food supply chain has never been greater. This chapter traces the origins of early food ethics issues and discusses the rise of ethical concerns around food safety and some of the accountability measures put in place to alleviate consumer fears. Similarly, out of concern for the sustainability of our food supply, rising consumption trends around vegetarianism and veganism are also examined. The nutritional quality of our food affects not just consumers who are consuming too much food (e.g. rising obesity rates) but also those who do not have sufficient access to food and experience food insecurity. Paradoxically, another ethical issue affecting the food supply chain is the amount of waste. This chapter examines the scale of food waste and the policy initiatives designed to reduce waste. Linked to this is the ethics around food packaging and the rising use of single-use plastics and how we safely dispose of them. As the future of our food system depends upon embracing ethical concerns, the chapter concludes by reporting on the efforts required throughout the food supply chain to ensure an ethical supply of food for all.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe SAGE Handbook of Marketing Ethics
EditorsLynne Eagle, Stephan Dahl, Patrick De Pelsmacker, Charles R. Taylor
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781529736786, 9781529737677, 9781529738575
ISBN (Print)9781529709292
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2020


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