Canadians are more likely to look for Canadian food in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic according to a new survey by Farm Credit Canada (FCC).
“The events of the past year have shown us that in times of crisis, the Canadian agriculture industry continues to provide safe and reliable food,” said Marty Seymour, FCC’s director of industry relations.
“Canadians have noticed and are responding with appreciation for the agriculture and food industry’s ability to adapt, even under difficult circumstances.”
In the survey conducted between Jan. 8 and 12, 2021, there is evidence of an emerging shift in what Canadians are doing and thinking about when it comes to buying their groceries.
When asked if their behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic, six out of 10 people or 58 per cent said they are more likely to buy Canadian made or grown food, 56 per cent are more likely to look for Canadian made or grown food when they buy groceries and 50 per cent are more likely to think about how their food is grown.
“On Feb. 23, we will be celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day. Each year the national event celebrates the contributions of Canada’s agriculture and food sectors, sharing the importance of understanding where our food comes from with all Canadians,” Seymour said.
“This year’s fifth anniversary celebration is even more meaningful given the challenges producers and processors have faced in the past year,” he said. “We see these survey results as an endorsement by Canadians for the continued support and celebration of a strong agriculture and food industry.”
According to the same survey, eight in 10 Canadians believe Canada’s food system and agriculture sector responded well to the pandemic. Most of the respondents (94 per cent) say they are strong supporters of Canada’s agriculture sector and 91 per cent agree Canadian farmers are underappreciated.
“It is encouraging to see such a strong endorsement for the efforts of the women and men across Canada who are committed to this unique and valuable industry. The vast majority of Canadians agree that it’s important we have a strong agriculture and food sector to ensure we can continue to be a source of safe, reliable and affordable food,” Seymour said.
The survey was conducted for FCC with 2,000 Canadian residents. The margin of error is +/- 2.17 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The data was weighted according to census data to ensure the sample matched Canada’s population. FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has calculated that by Tuesday, February 9, 2021, a Canadian household of average income had earned enough to pay their entire year’s grocery bill.
Each year, CFA examines the proportion of income that Canadians spend on food as a way to explore year-over-year expenditure changes and raise consumers’ understanding of Canada’s food system, from Farm-Gate-to-Plate.
Canadians spent 11% of their disposable income on food in 2020, which is slightly higher than the 10.9% of disposable income spent on food in 2019. With a significant increase in per capita food and beverage expenditures, up nearly $300 from 2020 to an estimated $4,091, Food Freedom Day has moved back a day to February 9th, 2021.
“Food Freedom Day creates an opportunity to appreciate all that goes into producing our food, each step it takes on the journey from the farm all the way to our plates. Canada has one of the most efficient, safe and affordable food systems in the world and Food Freedom Day is an excellent time for Canadians to appreciate how fortunate we as Canadians are to have access to such a diversity of affordable food,” said Mary Robinson, CFA President.
This rise in food expenditures would have seen a more dramatic effect were it not for an increase in household disposable income in late 2020 to mitigate some of the increased cost. With continued inflation in the price of many food prices expected through 2021, amidst a challenging financial environment for many Canadians, Food Freedom Day presents an opportunity to highlight all the work producers undertake to produce food efficiently and affordably every day.
Canada’s Agriculture Day Virtual Fireside Chat, hosted by Agriculture More Than Ever, brings together people involved in Canadian agriculture, food and agribusiness.
Join Michael Hoffort, FCC President and CEO and Dominic Barton, Canada’s Ambassador to China, for a virtual fireside chat where they will discuss opportunities for Canadian agriculture and food and how Canada can live into its potential as a global food supplier.
The event will also feature thought leaders Chantelle Donahue (Cargill), Daniel Vielfaure (Bonduelle) and Murad Al-Katib (AGT Foods) in a dynamic panel providing their thoughts on global growth prospects in food and how our industry can be a powerful tool in the economic recovery of the nation.
Don’t miss out! The event will not be recorded. Let’s raise a fork to the food we love and the people who produce it! On February 23, 2021, celebrate Canadian agriculture and food both online and with friends, family and co-workers, and let everyone know how you feel about this awesome industry.
The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Hit the registration button at the Agriculture More Than Ever website.
This year's Empire-Advance Ag Day Special Feature was made possible from sponsorship by
Caltech Surveys | Virden Ag & Parts