According to new research from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), Canadians are optimistic about their food supply. That comes even as Canada’s food system faces exceptional pressure and public scrutiny due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 in 2020.
The fifth edition of the 2020 Public Trust Research Report, Trends in Trust & The Path Forward was recently released. It indicates that of the 2,903 Canadians sampled, the proportion who feel that Canada’s food system is headed in the right direction has reached a five-year high. 47% 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 10 (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.”
Affordability is 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% of Canadians indicating they have less money to spend on food, as a direct result of the pandemic.
Sustainability – more than just a buzzword
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%), 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 focused on who Canadians trust when it comes to their food, food safety, environment, and factors influencing food decisions.
The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity is a national charity with a clearly defined mandate to help Canada’s food system earn public trust by coordinating research, resources, dialogue, and communications.