New survey shows confidence in Canadian agriculture
Four-in-five Canadians say they are confident in their ability to continue meeting domestic food demand.
December 13, 2022 By Climate FieldView
According to the 2022 Perceptions of Canadian Agriculture Survey, released by Climate FieldView and conducted among members of the online Angus Reid Forum, the vast majority (98 per cent) of Canadians recognize the country’s farmers importance to domestic food security, and four-in-five Canadians say they are confident in their ability to continue meeting domestic food demand.
According to the survey, when Canadians were asked about the extreme weather events that occurred in the past year, 62 per cent say they have an increased appreciation for Canadian agriculture. This growth in appreciation is particularly evident when looking at regions such as BC, where 76 per cent noted an increase in appreciation after major flooding events impacted key agricultural regions of the province in 2021. Similarly, the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) who recently released their 2022 public trust research report, also determined that environmental issues are top of mind for Canadians as one of the greatest threats to Canada’s food system alongside inflation and labour shortages.
“Canadians are making the connection on the importance of Canadian farmers to our food system,” says Matt Eves, Bayer Digital Farming Lead – Canada. “Farmers have faced many external challenges in recent years, trying to meet supply demands for Canadians while also striving to innovate to stay ahead of these challenges, while ensuring sustainability remains top of mind.”
In order to better manage these challenges on farms, many Canadian farmers are turning to technology to help make better use of their resources and reduce the impacts of climate change as much as possible, and better manage unexpected issues that may arise. As a result, modern farms today look much different than the image Canadians might have in their minds.
When asked what kinds of technology came to mind that farmers use in their operations, 26 per cent of respondents could not cite any examples, and only 13 per cent of Canadians viewed agriculture as more innovative compared to other domestic industries. Furthermore, while the CCFI report showed 4 in 10 strongly agree that Canadian farmers are good stewards of the environment, 16 per cent of respondents in the Climate FieldView study did not know how Canadian farmers support sustainability, showing many may not understand the true impact technology and innovation has on farming and sustainability.
“Right now, there is a gap in knowledge of the innovation on farms,” says Eves “but public awareness and support for these advancements will be crucial for the industry to continue to innovate to be more sustainable and resilient in order to face ongoing challenges in the future.”
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