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Consumer communication top priority for Canada’s pig producers

Improving communication with the public and the media must become a top priority for Canada’s pork industry, an industry expert has said.

George Matheson, chairman of producer group Manitoba Pork, said consumers are becoming more and more concerned about how their food is produced, reports The Pig Site.

If shoppers are to be encouraged to buy pork, farmers need to take control of the debate by ensuring the public makes decisions based on facts and science, he said.

Speaking at Ontario Pork’s 2017 annual meeting, Matheson said growing numbers of farmers are making a concerted effort to talk to consumers more about the animal care and the environmental standards they comply with when producing pigs.

“[Producers] want to keep one step ahead of the game and make sure they are listening to consumers and educating them on what pork producers are doing,” he said.

“They want to educate consumers and also make sure that [other producers] are on top of the procedures that are expected from them.”

Matheson said there are still many consumers who are led by emotion rather than science when it comes to agriculture.

Demands by animal activists were also frustrating for producers, so it was up to individual farmers to discusses issues like animal care and food safety to educate both the public and the media about pork production practices.

“It’s probably even more important to educate the media so that the stories that are presented to the public are in fact accurate and science-based,” he added.

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Posted on May 19, 2017

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