Brooks (Rural Roots Canada) – Raising consumers’ knowledge about modern farm practices is key in building public trust for agriculture according to Advancing Ag Mentor Kim McConnell.

He spoke on a panel discussing building public trust and consumer confidence during RRC Virtual Ag Day in July.

McConnell says more than ever people are asking questions about where and how their food is produced.

“First off, we need to truly understand that food is important and that has been elevated in the COVID issues in the last little while,” McConnell said adding, “a lot of people are interested in their food and want to know more about it.”

READ MORE: ‘How’ to build consumer’s confidence in agriculture

He adds people are confused.

“They are confused about their food and they are asking questions.  Is it safe?, Is it quality?,  How is it produced?  Is it sustainable? All of these things are weighing on consumers.”

McConnell says recent surveys indicate consumers don’t know much about modern farm practices, however, there is a window of opportunity.

“When 91 per cent of consumers say they know virtually nothing or very little about what’s going on (that’s not good), but 60 per cent say we are very interested in knowing more about what is happening in agriculture.  So that is the good news.”

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McConnell says trust is a business risk that the entire industry has to be aware of.

“When the food system loses its trust its ability to innovate and to operate and thrive is impeded.”

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Such a great reminder to always learn and to learn always! #AdvancingAg

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