Farmscape for February 19, 2019
The Director of Food Integrity and Consumer Engagement with Phibro Animal Health encourages farmers to engage with consumers on a shared value basis.
"Reframing the Conversation" was among the topics discussed this month in Winnipeg during the 2019 Manitoba swine Seminar.
Dr. Leah Dorman, the Director of Food Integrity and Consumer Engagement with Phibro Animal Health, says consumers have a lot of questions about how their food is grown and raised but farmers have not done a good job explaining what they do on the farm and why.
Clip-Dr. Leah Dorman-Phibro Animal Health:
I think the first thing that farmers need to do to effectively engage with consumers is to share your values.
Our values are very closely aligned with consumer values and much more so than most consumers believe.
So it's important that we make a connection with consumers in an open, honest type of dialogue, we make that connection on a values level first.
You can talk about things that concern consumers, which may be animal care, it may be animal health, it may be environmental impact of what we do on the farm.
It could be how does what we do on the farm affect them and healthy affordable food that they feed their family so it's important that we really get to what they are concerned about and connect with them at that level, understanding what they're asking of us and then giving them additional information one we've made that connection.
Trust is absolutely key and that's part of the reason that we need to be sharing those values in each of our conversations with consumers.
We have to connect at that values level.
We have to demonstrate that our values are more closely aligned with consumer values than the consumer may have thought.
During that conversation we have to set that ground work.
Dr. Dorman says, once the connection is made and consumers understand farmers care about the same things they do, farmers can follow up with the science that supports what they do.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork