Farmers Forum staff
The cost of food remains the top concern for Canadians and is the main factor influencing purchasing decisions, the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) reported.
Based on an online survey of 2,918 adult Canadians in July, the 2022 Public Trust Research reported that Canadians are “extremely concerned” about five key issues:
- Cost of food (69 % extremely concerned)
- Inflation (66 %)
- Energy costs (58 %)
- Keeping healthy food affordable (56 %)
- Canadian economy (53 %)
The cost of food is the top concern among Canadians and increased eight points over last year. “Concern about the price of food is not just a blip in public perception, but rather, it is the central issue that is front of mind for Canadians,” the centre concluded.
On more wide-ranging issues, 50 % of Canadians polled said they were “extremely concerned” about a global food crisis and 48 % said they were “extremely concerned” about global warming.
Forty-four per cent said they were extremely concerned about food safety and the safety of food from outside of Canada.
On related issues, 39 per cent said they were extremely concerned about having enough food to feed people in Canada and 38 % are concerned about the humane treatment of farm animals.
While Canadians are losing trust in the food system they are surprisingly trusting. On a scale of 11 groups that included scientist, grocery stories and politicians, farmers were the most trusted group. Forty-two per cent of respondents said that farmers were “very trustworthy,” followed by scientists at 35 % . At the bottom end, 14 per cent said that government agencies and food processors and manufacturers were “very trustworthy” while 8 per cent said that politicians were “very trustworthy.” The news media was not included in the list.
The research also revealed that consumer attitudes have largely fallen back in-line with pre-pandemic levels. Canadians understand the ongoing effects of the pandemic on food costs, but overall, they are ready for a return to normalcy, the centre reported.
The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity is a national charity supported by about 50 agricultural and food industry stakeholders, and last year received $244,000 from the federal government, to help Canada’s food system earn public trust by coordinating research, resources, dialogue, and communications.