Media Shapes Consumer Attitudes Toward Food Safety

CANADA - Research conducted by Ipsos Reid shows the media plays a key role in shaping consumer confidence in the quality and safety of foods produced in Canada, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 1 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Surveys conducted across Canada by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2004 and followed up in 2006 show nine out of ten Canadian grocery shoppers have high level of confidence in the Canadian food products they buy.

Ipsos Reid senior research manager Scott Patton notes the media is the number one source identified by respondents for gathering information about food safety and quality in Canada.

Scott Patton-Ipsos Reid

There's an extremely strong influence from the media and that again was a little bit of a concern that the media being the number one information source, it's a passive source.

That really indicated to ourselves and to Agriculture Canada that it's extremely important to have systems in place to communicate with the public through the media.

Not that the media is saying anything wrong but we want them to be saying the right things at the same time.

So, for example, if we look at a food recall situation that certainly is picked up in the media and, depending on how it's covered, it could create hysteria, it could create damaging effects on consumer perceptions.

So the indication there is that, when there is some sort of food recall or food safety issue, that the industry needs to be working with the media and the consuming public to make sure that proper information and full information is shared with everyone so that the consumer can then understand that, yes we do have a concern, this is how we're handling that concern and this is why you can be confident that our system is working to protect the safety and quality of your food.

Patton says Canadians are extremely confident in the safety and quality of Canadian produced food, in many cases, Canadians tend to trust the system without knowing a lot about the system.

Further Reading

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