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The way forward: Trust and transparency

10 April 2018, at 12:00am

The Chair of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute says trust and transparency are key to earning the loyalty of Canadian consumers at the retail grocery level.

The Canadian grocery market is estimated to be worth 110 billion dollars. John Scott, the Chair of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, told those on hand last month for the 2018 London Swine Conference, that today's consumers are diverse but when it comes to food they are all looking for products they can trust.

In an interview with, John Scott explains further:

"In terms of principle drivers the Baby Boom has always driven trends. They're no longer the drivers.

"They still have a lot of money. They're interested in products a little bit different, that are more healthy, smaller portions and that kind of thing.

"The millennial has taken over as the principle driver in the sector and then, of course, we welcome people from around the world from different cultures and that's become a key element as well.

"They all make their decision on a different basis but I'll tell you this; what they all want is to know what's in the food product, where it's from and who's behind it.

"You take those three things and you add to it issues around the ethics of production of the product; sustainability; providence; where that product actually comes from; any health claim it has. Those are some of the issues that consumers are grappling with.

"And every one of them walks into a store with a smart phone or an iPad and they can trace the product right down to its roots and the primary producers need to remember that.

"There's no pulling the wool over the consumers' eyes.

"Transparency is key.

"We need to be able to tell consumers everything we can about that particular product".

Photo: United States Department of Agriculture

Scott says what's in the food, who's behind the food and where it's from adds up to trust and advertising that tells consumers what's in the food, where it's from and who's behind it gives people great confidence.

He notes consumers are quick and ruthless and they'll immediately turn off anybody who's abrogates their principles with regards to food.

As reported by Bruce Cochrane,

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