It won't just be public sector workers crossing everything when the government announces its long-awaited Comprehensive Spending Review next week.

If the plan is as draconian as publicity suggests, food companies should be worried about the potential effect of cuts too.

Jobs are often first to go when costs have to be cut and thousands of them in the public sector are expected to be axed. These are your customers. And if much of your business comes from the north (expected to be the biggest job loser) then it really is squeaky derrière time.

Even before George Osborne unveils the worst, there are signs the food sector is suffering. Sainsbury's, Tesco et al may be performing well, but recent pages in The Grocer tell a different story for others. Wells & Young's and Northern Foods are just some of the names from last week's issue talking about potential redundancies.

Most HR directors I know would suggest myriad other ways of saving money before resorting to redundancy. But difficult times mean difficult decisions. The skill is in treating affected employees transparently and with dignity. Failing to do so is not only bad for your employer brand, but it also affects remaining employees.

So it is interesting to see that the latest Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Index of Leadership Trust reveals major trust deficits at the top of recession-hit organisations. Firms that responded to recession with redundancies and office closures have seen a sharp drop in CEO trust, with scores plummeting to 51 (on a scale of 1-100) compared with an average CEO trust score of 63.

Why is this important? According to Sue Swanborough, HR director of General Mills UK & Ireland, which is pioneering work on trust, the potential loss can cost a business hundreds of thousands, even millions of pounds.

"Building trust starts at the top and involves focus on self-awareness among the executive team," explains Swanborough. "So if your people don't believe those at the head of the business have the best interests of the business and those that work in it at heart or that they don't have the capability to run it successfully then everything else falls down."

In other words, trust ultimately affects the bottom line. As Penny de Valk, ILM chief executive, adds: "As CEOs strive to implement radical transformation there is little prospect of success unless they bring their workforce with them employees have to trust their managers."

Badly handled restructuring is one sure-fire way of losing trust. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Bring in women bosses. According to the research, female bosses are more trusted than men to lead organisations through times of adversity.

But that's another column.

Siân Harrington is editor of Human Resources magazine.