Transparency, food affordability and sustainability are top priorities for Canadians: CCFI
Canadian Centre for Food Integrity
Public Trust Research Report
New research from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity’s (CCFI’s) 2021 Public Trust Research Report shows Canadians are interested in improving the food system as a whole. Through qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, the results demonstrate consumers are interested in advancing overarching matters of the food system like food affordability, profit-driven systems and sustainability, while asking for more transparency.
The research indicates that of the 2202 Canadians sampled, the proportion of Canadians who felt Canada’s food system is headed in the right direction has declined after a considerable improvement in 2020. Most respondents that jumped from the ‘right direction’ option went straight to the ‘don’t know’ category. These results show consumers are overwhelmed with information, and do not know which way to turn.
“Respondents do not feel they can confidently say the food system is moving in the right or wrong direction because they simply don’t know what information to trust,” explained John Jamieson, president and CEO, CCFI. “The information doesn’t appear transparent due to the vast amount of conflicting misinformation.”
For the first time, global warming and environmental issues have made the top five list of concerns for Canadians. This data demonstrates how environmental concerns influence consumers everyday lives and the importance of a sustainable food system to Canadians. The research reveals the global pandemic has not affected trust levels among Canadians. Respondents indicated they do not feel it was more difficult to access food during the pandemic, with some even saying it was easier. There was minimal mention of empty grocery store shelves with respondents indicating this was only for “hot ticket items”.
Canadians are concerned about the ‘big picture’ of food and themes such as profit-driven markets, sustainability and affordability need to be addressed in communication efforts moving forward.