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Public support for Canadian agricultural sector remains strong: survey


April 14, 2021
By Grassroots Public Affairs

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A recent poll says Canadians continue to be very positive about the current and future state of agriculture and food in Canada.

In partnership with clients and other industry associations, the third annual national Agri-Food public opinion poll by Grassroots Public Affairs measured attitudes, direction, and intensity of public opinion on a range of issues and policies affecting the domestic Agri-Food sector.

Key survey findings included:

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  • Canadians are very or somewhat confident (91 per cent) in the safety of food grown or produced domestically.
  • A strong majority of Canadians (86 per cent) endorse increased government support for the agriculture and agri-food sectors.
  • 70 per cent of Canadians have never had the opportunity to visit an operational farm. However, the impressions of the 30 per cent that did visit were very positive.

In particular, the report highlighted how “Canadians continue to believe the federal government should place the greatest level of prioritization of financial support for fruit and vegetable…” over other major commodities.

“These findings confirm that, in these uncertain times, policy makers and industry leaders can build on the agriculture sector’s reputation as the most important contributor to the country’s economic landscape. Few other industries are viewed as positively by Canadians. This is a sector with enormous potential to aid in Canada’s economic recovery,” says Peter Seemann, principal and senior consultant at Grassroots Public Affairs.

However, the report also found that “Canadians are less willing to recommend a job or career in agriculture today than in 2019.” Income and salaries, job security/employment opportunities, and lifestyle/work-life balance were the top key considerations in recommending a career in agriculture.

New questions for this year’s poll gathered public opinion about awareness regarding The Canada Food Guide, consumers and food labelling; and food allergies/sensitivities of Canadians.

View the 2021 survey results here.

The Canada-wide survey was conducted via an online panel of 1,001 Canadians 18+. Fieldwork for the survey took place between March 23 to 30.