Add "and" to the farming conversation

Investing in public trust without a company logo attached is just one of the ways our farm and food system can move the conversation forward, says Crystal Mackay, former president of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI).

While the entire conversation over social license and public trust is relatively new to Canada’s food system, Mackay thinks we’re well positioned to move forward in leaps and bounds if there’s a willingness on all sides to invest money and be willing to adapt practices and language.

Our farming and food value chains were built for productivity not for consultation, Mackay says, but in a truly Canadian approach, the food system has come together, through roundtables and organizations like CCFI, to address public trust.

That’s not to say there aren’t challenges. Farmers, for example, have been used to convey messaging and used to companies’ brand advantage but aren’t necessarily involved at the consultation level. What’s more, about 50 per cent of consumers are “unsure” about Canada’s food system and the direction it’s heading.

Mackay says that it is certainly difficult for commodity-based organizations and farms to participate in increasingly segmented markets, but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Consumers are choosey, yes, but their buying behaviour boils down to five different values — values that many farmers share.

Farms and the food system need to start adopting the word “and” instead of “versus” when talking about production systems and practices, as well, she says. The farm community will get further ahead collaborating and talking about conventional AND organic, for example, instead of one pitted against the other.

Hear more from Crystal Mackay, including what’s next for the farm and food conversation, in this RealAg Radio segment with Shaun Haney: 

Leave a Reply

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache
__cfduid

Marketing

Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.

__gads,fsk_ut_2317
scmtid,v,a,JSESSIONID
IDE

Statistics

These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.

_ga,_gid,_gat,_cb,_chartbeat2,_chartbeat4
_ga,_gat
_ga,_gid
metrics_token

Preferences

Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp