A recent survey by Farm Credit Canada shows consumer demand doesn’t rate high on the radar screen of most producers. Consumer demand ranked last when producers and agribusiness owners were asked what factors were driving any changes they planned to make to their operations this year. FCC has published an edition of its Knowledge Insider that delineates consumer trends. For instance, populations are becoming more ethnically diverse and that presents opportunities for certain food products. In general, consumers increasingly want healthy, convenient food that is safe to eat. And there’s increasing concern about the environmental impact of food choices. So why aren’t these trends of interest to most producers? It’s because most of us don’t actually sell directly to consumers. Producers at farmers markets do and so do direct marketers such as Pine View Farms, but the majority of producers sell to intermediaries. We worry about the grading standards for grains and having the most popular colour and weight of calves. We conform to the rules for animal ID and registered crop protection products. We assume the price incentives and rules are indicative of what consumers are demanding, but unfortunately most of us are far removed from the end users. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC