Public trust research brings value to food system

Research: An important ally in building public trust

September 17, 2021

Understanding the challenges and the public’s perceptions, attitudes and values about food and agriculture, while knowing how to build public trust, is a priority for food system stakeholders.

What is the average consumer thinking? What are the issues that matter? How are these issues impacting their decisions regarding food choices?

The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity’s (CCFI) public trust research enlightens us.

This trusted resource has been a core activity of CCFI since its inception in 2016.

“Our research is a solid and valuable tool that the Canadian food system can use as a basis for new approaches and investments in building public trust,” says John Jamieson, CCFI President and CEO.

The results of the CCFI’s research, along with the knowledge gained over the years, also help measure trust among food system stakeholders while tracking consumer concerns and trending attitudes on topics ranging from food affordability and animal welfare to attitudes about farming and credible sources of information.

This year, in addition to the quantitative survey that compiles and analyzes various performance indicators related to efforts in building public trust, the CCFI has included a qualitative survey to understand what key messages resonate most with Canadians. “The data set that results from our annual survey provides tremendous value to our members. That’s why we have decided to release only some of it to the public and reserve most of the information for our members,” concludes Jamieson.

According to Dr. Bobby Thomas Cameron, Director of Strategic Policy and Evaluation at the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Land, the CCFI’s research has been extremely helpful to understand Islanders’ opinions about the food system. “Information produced through surveys and other reports provides the Department with access to another line of evidence to make policy decisions. Decisions based on multiple lines of evidence, including CCFI’s research, will inevitably result in better public policy.”

Each year, CCFI members have access to the full research findings, including deeper insights, detailed audience segmentation, and trust-building engagement insights. A preview of the results will be released at our online Public Trust Summit on October 19, 2021.