Consumers want permission to support today’s food system.
We are all aware of the disconnect between consumers and farmers. “The average consumer is three generations removed from the farm.” That is old news. But what I bet you didn’t know is that a recent study
was conducted by The Center for Food Integrity
(CFI) that shows farmers now rank third on the list of people consumers trust to inform them about where their food comes from and how it is grown. What an opportunity we have as agriculturalists and scientists to continue to be more engaged in conversations concerning food!
Although we have gained ground toward bridging the gap, we can’t stop now. We must continue to serve as an active part of the conversation and not take the trust we have been given for granted. The challenge is people trust farmers, but they do not necessarily like or understand the way we farm today. I encourage you to continue to be that source of credible information, be approachable to consumers, and engage and connect based on shared values.
Here are a few additional articles relating to consumer trust and transparency within the food system:
A surprisingly durable lament in ag media is our frustration with consumer ignorance of where food comes from. Our favorite target is the female grocery shopper. Our game plan is to show how to persuade her to our position on issues like animal welfare and GMOs–but do we really know where our consumers are coming from?
This article shows several strategies that might work better when appealing to the consumer’s desires.
In this Drovers
article, Jude Capper states that we have to listen to the consumer voice
–the majority, not the (very vocal) activist minority. She points out that changes have occurred in every food industry over the past decades in order to fulfill consumer requirements and that this is not something that will go away in the future.
This slightly controversial article outlines four food trends to look for in 2018. It is worth taking into consideration because they could directly impact your business in particular. Whether you agree or disagree is not the issue–what’s important is that you know what people are thinking and will take the necessary steps to prepare and adapt as necessary.
By: Kylie Peterson (image from drovers.com)