Everybody says they’re in favor of food safety, but who wants to pay for it

Barry Wilson has been writing about agriculture in Canada for Western Producer magazine as long as I’ve been around.

consumer.foodsafe.supermarketAnd he usually gets it right.

Wilson writes that many consumers say what they know they should say or what they believe their ethics dictate when it comes to food and food safety. Then they head to the bargain bins or the box stores where they can get the best prices.

All the evidence points to most consumers saying one thing and doing another – supporting all the good things about Canadian food production in theory, but then heading to the cheap ice cream, the imported tomatoes or apples, the meat from wherever.

For farmers, this is an old problem.

Society wants more but refuses to pay more.

Consumers and customers of Canadian food production insist on safe, ecologically responsible production but generally aren’t prepared to pay more for it and consider it simply the cost of doing business.

The vast majority of food producers want to do the right thing for ethical and market reasons but often can’t afford the additional cost.