Canadians are optimistic about their food supply, even as Canada's food system faces pressure and public scrutiny due to the pandemic, according to a study from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CFI).
The fifth edition of the 2020 Public Trust Research Report, entitled Trends in Trust & The Path Forward, shows that of the close to 3,000 Canadians surveyed the proportion of Canadians who feel that Canada's food system is headed in the right direction has reached a five-year high of 47 per cent.
And Canadians are also appreciative of how businesses in the food system have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Close to 88 per cent trust that the food system will ensure the availability of healthy food for Canadians.
"Canada's food system stakeholders should be proud of their efforts throughout the pandemic, that has ensured Canadians uninterrupted access to healthy, Canadian-grown food," comments John Jamieson, president and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity. "The fact that Canadians recognize these efforts and are trusting and confident in their food system presents our industry with an extraordinary opportunity to connect with consumers and highlight the potential for the agri-food system to lead economic recovery in Canada."
Affordability top of mind
As the pandemic continues to take its toll on the economy and unemployment rates, Canadians are most concerned about the cost of food. The current circumstances have highlighted this struggle, with 51 per cent of Canadians indicating they have less money to spend on food, as a direct result of the pandemic.
The 2020 research also concluded sustainability in food is not just a trend but a requirement to be a trusted and successful food system player. Sustainable food means many things to many people, but for almost half of Canadians (45 per cent), it refers to food options and production practices that address climate change and have a positive impact on the environment. Other key areas of research examined, were who Canadians trust when it comes to their food, food safety, environment, and factors influencing food decisions.