Farmscape for March 13, 2018
The President of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity suggests everyone involved in agriculture has a role to play in communicating the story of agriculture to the public.
With the percentage of the Canadian population directly involved in agriculture continuing to shrink the disconnect between farmers and the consumers who purchase the food they produce continues grow.
Crystal Mackay, the President of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, says the Canadian public wants to more about their food and has questions about everything on their plate ranging from what happens on farm right through to retail and food service but the sources they go to for information are not always reliable so it's important for those involved in farming to become more visible.
Clip-Crystal Mackay-Canadian Centre for Food Integrity:
I think it starts one person at a time for sure.
Every conversation that somebody in the food system has so, regardless of your role, not just farmers, but anybody that's part of the pork industry or part of agriculture and food, you're on the team.
One conversation at a time, we all have circles of influence, whether it's your Facebook group or individual conversations, it starts there and then it can spiral to be bigger things.
There's lots of great association led efforts, company led efforts and some national strategic thinking happening.
Farmers still rank very highly for overall impression, warmth and trust on most characteristics, which is excellent.
So do university researchers, government researchers.
Veterinarians, for example on animal welfare, rate really highly on trust.
The challenge is, when we ask the public where do they get their information on all those topics, it's not from those trusted sources.
They go on line.
Our opportunity to do better with trust is how do we give those trusted respected voices like farmers, veterinarians, university researchers a voice and volume so the public can actually hear from them, the people they trust and want to hear from.
Mackay says it's early days in this public trust space but, like planting a tree, there's no better time than yesterday, so it's time to get to work.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork