GUELPH, ON, Sept. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadians continue to have an
increasingly positive impression of Canadian agriculture, with 88% of
those polled ranking it positive or neutral, up from 81% in 2009 and
75% in 2006. That's one of the key findings from the new 2012 Farm and
Food Care "Canadian Attitudes Study towards Food and Farming" study.
"Our research shows that although food and farming isn't a top of mind
issue for most Canadians, most have an overall positive impression of
our food, how it's grown and the people who produce it," says Crystal
Mackay, Executive Director, Farm & Food Care. "Canadians ranked farmers
as warmly and favourably as their own family and friends, just slightly
above doctors and other medical professionals."
This year's research, which builds on previous studies dating back to
2001, was expanded to include gathering public opinion on the five
pillars of sustainable food: food safety, environment, farm animal
health and welfare, human health and economics/food affordability.
Canadians feel they are generally better informed about food and farming
than they were even three years ago, and more than half of them are
interested in learning more. Approximately 70% of Canadians have
visited a farm at least once before. Other findings demonstrate that
Canadians are concerned about rising costs - including the cost of food
- and many try to buy local by purchasing Canadian food products when
"This tracking research goes a long way in helping farmers and people in
the agri-food business to understand what Canadians believe, both today
and in monitoring trends over time, as they relate to the importance of
agriculture, interest and what people would like to know more about how
their food is produced," says Mackay.
Surveys were conducted online using Ipsos Reid's I-Say Online Household
Panel in mid-August among 1229 Canadian adults that had no household
connection to agriculture. Investment in this project has been
provided by several agri-food industry partners and by Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program
(CAAP). In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural
Farm & Food Care is a non-profit association that represents thousands
of farmers and related businesses with a mandate to provide credible
information on food and farming in Ontario. For more information on the
study, the organization or about farming and food production in Canada,
Canadian attitudes towards food and farming study
What's top of mind?
When asked unaided, healthcare and the economy are the top of mind issues facing Canadians.
Canadians are concerned about rising costs, particularly health care costs, food costs, and energy costs.
Overall impressions of agriculture and farmers
56% of Canadians have a very or somewhat positive impression of Canadian
agriculture, 32% are neutral. This is an increase from 2009 at 52%,
and 41% in 2006.
61% of Canadians rated farmers with a very warm and favourable
impression, at the top with family and friends. Next on the list were
doctors/nurses and medical professionals at 54% and grocery stores/food
retailers at 46%.
When asked to rank the five pillars of sustainable food, the safety of
the food Canadians eat and the overall health of Canadians came out as
the top two priorities, followed by food affordability, the environment
and farm animal welfare.
Knowledge of farming and food
52% of Canadians know at least a little about farming practices. That's
an increase from 48% in 2009.
59% said they want to know more; specifically, about health/safety
issues, farm products, treatment of animals, and farming techniques.
70% of Canadians have visited a farm at least once before.
About the study
The 2012 Farm and Food Care National Consumer Attitude Study 2012 was
conducted using Ipsos Reid's I-Say Online Household Panel of over
200,000 Canadian adults.
1229 surveys were conducted between August 17th and August 23rd, 2012.
In order to qualify for the study, respondents needed to be at least 18
years of age, and neither the respondent, nor a member of the
respondent's household could be involved with agriculture.
Farm groups fund the study to find out what the average Canadian thinks
about food and farming.
The Farm Issues Survey is a key activity for Farm and Food Care, as
evident through their investment in the 2001, 2006 and 2009 waves of
the survey. The survey has acted as a tool to help better understand
the opinions of Canadians as they relate to:
perceptions of food related topics such as food production, safety,
human health, animal welfare, the environment and
the relative importance of agriculture, food production and related
and their interest and knowledge of farming and food production
SOURCE: Farm & Food Care Ontario
For further information:
Crystal Mackay, Executive Director
Farm & Food Care
519-837-1326, extension 223
Colin Siren, Vice President
Ipsos Marketing, Agriculture & Animal Health