Since 2017, we at Grassroots have had the good fortune to partner with clients in the Agri-Food sector to measure Canadian’s attitudes towards our domestic food industry. Our findings have helped us advise organizations on how best to frame their messaging so that government and the general public are more receptive to their ‘asks’. 

This month, Grassroots will be re-entering the field to once again measure Canadians attitudes towards a wide range of topics related to Canada’s vast and diverse Agri-Food industry. We are excited to offer the opportunity for outside organizations and commodity groups to participate.

Our Agri-Food Omnibus polls from the last two years have uncovered a wide variety of interesting data. Here are a few notable findings related to agriculture and the business of food:

Agriculture is a key driver of the Canadian economy.

Overwhelming, the general public sees agriculture as one of the key drivers of the Canadian economy. 

Agriculture is important to Canada’s national security and critical infrastructure.

When compared with other major sectors of the Canadian economy, agriculture is seen as one of Canada’s most important industries, coming second only to health care, with respect to the role it plays in guaranteeing Canada’s national security and critical infrastructure. This bodes well for a sector that routinely feels ignored by government. 

The pandemic has changed the way Canadians act or think about shopping for food, but public trust in domestic food is high.

In last year’s poll, conducted just as the first lockdown was imposed, we learned that Canadians began thinking differently about how and where their food comes from. The pandemic exposed Canadians to the possibilities of food shortages and barriers to accessing food. More than six in ten Canadians believed food availability at grocery stores had worsened after COVID, and a third report experiencing greater difficulty affording food. 

Trust in home-grown food is high.

In comparison to other major global agricultural producers, Canadians trust food grown or produced domestically significantly more than food grown or produced elsewhere.

Quebecers are most optimistic about the future of the sector.

Another interesting regional insight is just how the Agri-Food sector is viewed differently across the country. According to last year’s survey Quebecers were by far the most optimistic and supportive about the future of the sector, while Ontario and Alberta residents were more pessimistic. The culture of food and firsthand connection to the industry matters significantly when it comes to public support.

As anyone involved in the agri-food industry knows, there have been many positive PR campaigns launched by industry stakeholders to help educate and influence consumers. These initiatives are needed, as the majority of Canadians increasingly have less direct exposure to farming and agriculture in general.

We look forward to releasing the findings of our poll in April. There is still time to participate and include a question or two focused on specific sectors of the industry in our poll. Check out the information on our website or email for more information. 

Smile, spring is just around the corner!

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