The General Manager of Manitoba Pork is encouraging farmers, both in Canada and abroad, to capitalize on opportunities to reconnect and interact with consumers.
The ability to interact with and earn the trust of the public is growing in importance across all of agriculture, especially animal agriculture, as more and more consumers are asking where does their food come from?
Cam Dahl, the General Manager of Manitoba Pork, says over time as Canada becomes more urban, we see the connection to the farm is being eroded so this discussion with consumers on how their food is produced offers an opportunity for farmers to reconnect.
We get a lot of our information from the internet and that’s not always true. There are people, and I’m not going to criticize the people but perhaps some of their actions, that are opposed to modern agriculture and that’s resulting in some misinformation. So, we need to be able to provide consumers with really strong science-based information.
I’ll take the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs, for example, which is produced through a committee that includes outside representation, third party representation. It includes independent scientists, it includes governments so that it’s not just something that industry is producing on its own and consumers can have that confidence that the codes that we’re practicing, the codes we’re abiding by really do have that independent oversight and independent revue and that’s important.
Science is important and we need to find a way of communicating that back to the public.
~ Cam Dahl, Manitoba Pork
Dahl says consumers want to be assured their food is safe, that the animals are being treat humanely and that farmers are taking steps to protect the environment.
He says Canadian farmers have a really good story to tell and he encourages them to become more involved in telling that story.