Consumers have a lot of questions about the food on their plates.
Where does it come from? Who is producing it? Is it sustainable? Is it healthy? Is its production harmful to the environment? What about animal welfare?
In an environment where they are bombarded with contradictions, consumers need to have balanced information about food to make informed choices that are right for them and their families.
That’s where the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) comes in.
CCFI gives a voice to those in the food system to meaningfully engage with their most important audiences on key issues such as animal welfare, food safety, technology, innovation, nutrition and health.
CCFI is a national not-for-profit charitable organization whose members and partners represent the diversity of today’s food system — from farmers, ranchers, foodies and food companies to universities, non-governmental organizations, restaurants, retailers and food processors.
Its primary mission is to build public trust in the Canadian food system through research, education and dialogue so that the Canadian food system can position itself as a global leader in sustainable food.
“We all have our own opinions about food, where it comes from, its availability and its impact on our health, says John Jamieson, CCFI President and CEO. Each year, CCFI conducts consumer research to gather data on their concerns, attitudes, perceptions and ultimately their trust in the Canadian food system.”
The results of these studies provide a valuable benchmark for Canada’s food industry as it embarks on new approaches and invests in building public trust. That’s why each year CCFI re-surveys consumers and conducts a variety of research. Tracking changing attitudes, examining current issues and understanding notions of trust helps the food system effectively engage with Canadians and balance the conversation. CCFI members invest in this research together for a valuable base of shared knowledge that benefits all food system stakeholders.
“We also know that aside from science, research and data, consumers want to know that those involved in food production share their values, adds Jamieson. Environmental stewardship, food safety, nutritional quality and animal care are among the issues they care about.”
In addition to its research capabilities, CCFI plays an important role as a trusted third-party that facilitates the flow of information between the food system and Canadians.
In May 2021, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced funding for CCFI to lead a united effort to advance public trust in Canada. Through science-based, unbiased information, CCFI will work to demonstrate to Canadians that our food system can be trusted to provide us with healthy, safe and affordable food in a way that reflects short and long-term sustainability and global competitiveness.
Additionally, CCFI’s membership model allows for an expansive list of participants to play a role in earning public trust and supporting Canada as a global food leader, from individual donors to large corporate and government investments. The scope and depth of the funding helps CCFI achieve maximum reliability, which is fundamental in our collective efforts to earn trust for the future. A future where Canadians trust the food they eat and the continuously evolving processes and practices the agri-food industry follows to produce it.
Stay tuned for more articles that will focus on what we are doing to build public confidence in Canada’s food system! In the meantime, visit our website for more information, and make sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.