According to new research from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), Canadians are optimistic about their food supply, even as Canada’s food system faces exceptional pressure and public scrutiny due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 in 2020.
The recently-unveiled 5th edition of the 2020 Public Trust Research Report, Trends in Trust & The Path Forward indicates that of the 2,903 Canadians sampled, the proportion of Canadians who say that Canada’s food system is headed in the right direction has reached a five-year high. That is 47 per cent of Canadians are confident about the overall direction of the food system, after a significant 12-point increase compared to 2019.
The Canadian food system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has also been highly praised by Canadian consumers; nearly nine in ten (87%) 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.”
As the pandemic continues to take its toll on the economy and unemployment rates, Canadians are most concerned about the cost of food. Fifty-one per cent of Canadians indicate they have less money to spend on food, as a direct result of the pandemic.
The 2020 research also concluded that the topic of 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%), the term refers to food options and production practices that address climate change and have a positive impact on the environment.
Source: Canadian Centre for Food Integrity November 11, 2020 news release