Non-Farming Consumers Consider Environment a Top of Mind Issue

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2243. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 24 November 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2243

Research conducted by Ipsos-Reid indicates, while the attitude of Canadians toward hog farming is generally positive, concerns related to the environment have become a top of mind issue.

Ipsos-Reid has been tracking the awareness and attitudes of non farming Canadians, both urban and rural, toward hog production practices related to food safety, the environment and animal welfare since 1999.

Vice president agribusiness, food and animal health Dr. Susan Jones says from 2002 to 2004 the number of non-farming Canadians expressing a positive impression of hog farming rose from 49 to 59 percent.

The most noticeable thing that we've seen is the emergence of concern about the impact of hog farming on the environment. That rose in 2002 from relative obscurity in 1999 where it was fourth or fifth on the list to 2002 where it suddenly became second most important after food safety and it stayed in a solid number two position since that time.

When consumers talk about their concerns around the environment by far their number one concern is water quality. That is top most on their minds.

The other thing that they talk about is air pollution, which is often puzzling for the hog industry because air pollution is not something that we consider as really happening but it is a perception that consumers have, so water is number one.

Consumers need to be reassured and to understand how hog farming practices may or may not impact their water supply but this emerging concern around air pollution probably needs to be addressed because I think in the industry we would say it's a miss-perception.

Regardless it's a perception that consumers have and it seems to be increasing. "

Dr. Jones notes a strong majority of non-farming consumers believe the hog industry is well regulated, that farmers adhere to the regulations and that the industry is looking for ways to improve environmental practices.

Staff Farmscape.Ca

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