The agriculture industry has historically taken the tact of “Science is on our side” in many debates over food production. But, as Charlie Arnott, with the Centre for Food Integrity, explains, perception trumps science when it comes to how consumers shape their opinions about food and their food choices.
“Science tells us if we can do something, society tells us if we should,” he says, in this interview filmed at the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar. The context of consumers’ questions being asked today are “should you be doing what you’re doing, not can you do what you’re doing.” The difference is vital to how industry shapes its own messages to consumers.
Arnott goes on to say that, as an industry, we have to realize that influencers aren’t necessarily experts, but that whomever “defines the issue, gets to control the debate.” The advent of social media has made sharing information and connecting with consumers more accesible, but it’s not for everyone.
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