Farmers and Ranchers are being reminded of the importance of ensuring public trust in modern Agriculture.
Brady Kapovic is a Provincial Agriculture Awareness Specialist with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture.
He was one of the featured speakers at the Weyburn Ag Expo last week.
Kapovic says Managing Risks to Growth compares and contrasts some of the common risks that we associate with production today, with some of the risks of consumers not understanding what we do and why we do it.
“Here in Saskatchewan, we have a fairly good perception of agriculture I think based on the Ministry’s Omnibus Survey its close to 89%. There still are areas where we could improve, in the areas of say Environmental Sustainability, Animal Welfare, those types of places. There’s still Genetically Modified Organisms these types of things people still I think want more information on.”
He says research out of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity lists farmers as the most trusted source for telling consumers how their food is produced.
Kapovic says farmers need to take a three-tiered approach.
“The first piece of the equation is doing the right thing. Producers for many years have been doing the right things on their farms in order to produce safe, healthy food. The second piece is effective assurance; so making sure that we can prove to consumers that what we’re doing is, in fact, the right thing to do. Then finally taking the time to build awareness around what we’re doing and why we do it with consumers.”
He notes there’s a real disconnect today between consumers and the farm.
A couple of decades ago it was maybe one or two, but now on average, we are about four generations removed from the farm which creates a knowledge gap.