Trust is the foundation of any good relationship, including an industry’s relationship with its producers and consumers. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is looking to continue to bolster this relationship through what they are calling the ABCs of truth.
The ABCs doesn’t just mean getting to the basics surrounding the truth of the industry, it also stands for ‘attitude, beef, consumer,’ which outlines key areas where information, and truths, can fall through the cracks. Andrea White, director for marketing and stakeholder relations with the CRSB, says it’s important to know what Canadian’s current perception of the beef industry is so they know where the concerns lie, or what areas they have to provide clarity on.
“Earlier this year, we did a consumer research study with a representative sample of Canadians, across different ages, demographics, regions, and really dug into some of the perceptions and attitudes and awareness levels of sustainability in Canadian beef,” says White. “What we found overall is there’s a very positive impression of the Canadian beef industry, beef production practices and sustainable practices across Canada, with roughly 75% of Canadians [stating] we’re doing a good job”.
Sustainability is a key focus, not only for the industry but the consumer as well. White shares that a main concern for consumers is mitigating, or finding suitable solutions for, waste created by or as a byproduct of the industry. This includes things such as reducing the use of single use plastics and non recyclable items.
Further, she says they discovered other topics that are top of mind with consumers as it relates to the federal government’s 2030 environmental targets. Outside of finding ways individuals and industry professionals can reduce waste, two other main concerns for consumers include reducing GHG emissions and maintaining wildlife habitats – something White says is an area that may be misunderstood about the industry.
“I think the thing that when people hear, they might be surprised about [the] concept that beef production helps to enhance the land and wetlands and grasslands and all those great things and help support the habitat have not only the animals that they’re caring for but the land itself, and all the other species that live there,” says White.
She says it’s these topics, among others, that the CRSB looks to educate people on and further share the truths of the industry and all that it is doing to not only feed the population but to do so in a sustainable and mindful way.