Consumer Food Cost Awarness Campaign Launched

CANADA - Keystone Agricultural Producers has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at showing consumers what farmers are doing for them in terms of food production and how much they actually receive in return, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 27 August 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
Manitoba Pork Council

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Research conducted by Keystone Agricultural Producers this summer shows, on average, only 27 percent of the cost of an entire week's worth or groceries for a family of four goes back to the farm that produced the food.

The percentage returned to the farm ranges from a low of four percent for grain products like bread and bagels to 35 percent for dairy products like yogurt and cheese and the more a product is processed the smaller the farmer's share of its final value.

KAP president Ian Wishart says much of the cost of providing food to the consumer goes into the cost of processing and transportation.

Ian Wishart-Keystone Agricultural Producers

Certainly we're being asked to do more and more in terms of food safety and getting products ready for the market place in specific identity preserved areas and we need to get a reasonable return for having done all of that so I think the consumer needs to understand what it is we're doing for them and what is the farmer's portion so that when they see something go up 20 percent in their store because of shortfall or because of tight supply they know exactly what the farmers portion of that would be.

It's a lot less in most cases than they're certainly giving us credit for now.

We want to see them ask the tough questions at the retail level and think about the product that they're buying.

If they buy a product that has traveled less distance, that is processed here in Manitoba then they're probably getting a much better deal in terms of supporting agriculture because there's less transportation involved in the process.

Wishart notes Canadians have access to the lowest priced food in the world.

He says, on average, Canadians spend about 10 percent of their annual income on food compared to about 15 to 18 percent in Europe and as high as 40 percent in Asia so Canadians need to realize they are getting a very reasonably priced product.

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