Farms at the Table conference about engaging consumers with food & farming
What do farmers, ranchers, food processors, farm equipment dealers, food wholesalers/retailers, chefs and dietitians have in common?
Food - and the question of how to let consumers know that Saskatchewan-produced food is both safe and responsibly-produced.
The theme of Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan's second annual Farms at the Table Conference on December 9 & 10 was "Making Connections". Conference participants discussed how to share the story of food production when so many people today are so far removed from the farm.
Participants from across the food production spectrum in Saskatchewan gathered for two days at the Saskatoon Inn to discuss strategies on how they can work together to communicate about modern agriculture. Topics included how to talk with consumers about food and farming, the influence that social media can have and why it's imperative for the industry to reach out. Speaker Joe Pozzi, a rancher from Sonoma, California, who opens his farm gates to visitors, explained.
"Being able to see firsthand what we do on our ranch is a real eye opener for many. I want people to find out more about how food is produced and know that we take pride in doing it. It's our livelihood and a way of life I wouldn't trade for anything else."
Crystal Mackay, CEO of Farm & Food Care Canada, who delivered a presentation entitled Working Together to Create Social Licence from Coast to Coast, supported Pozzi's comments.
"The farming and food production industry in Canada hasn't focused on letting consumers know what's involved in getting food from the farm to consumers' plates. We need to be more proactive in our efforts to gain and maintain consumer trust, and in a way that everyone can understand and appreciate."
This year's conference wrapped up with a challenge by Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan Chair, Shannon Meyers, to continue working together to ensure a positive future for farming in the province.
Next year's Farms at the Table Conference is slated for December 16 & 17, 2016 in Saskatoon.
For more information on Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan initiatives, see our website at farmfoodcaresk.org or contact:
CEO, Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan
Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan believes that getting to know farmers and ranchers equals getting to know food. We strive to find new and innovative ways to introduce farmers, ranchers and others involved in food production to their customers and consumers to their food.