Farm Credit Canada

Farm Credit Canada

July 13, 2011 03:30 ET

Canadians Have a Sweet Deal on Food, Says FCC

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - July 13, 2011) - A new survey sponsored by Farm Credit Canada (FCC) shows that despite a preference for buying Canadian food products, many consumers don't put their money where their mouth is. Yet Canadians are privileged to pay some of the lowest prices in the world for safe, high-quality food.

According to the spring survey, 95% of respondents agree that purchasing locally grown food is a priority or a preference; however, only 43% are willing to pay more for food grown locally.

Similarly, 96% of respondents indicate a preference for purchasing Canadian products, yet only 41% are willing to pay more for them.

To view the graph associated with this survey, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110712-713fcc.jpg

"I'm not surprised by the survey results," says FCC Senior Agriculture Economist Jean-Philippe Gervais. "Purchasing decisions are often driven by price. What Canadians might not realize is that average Canadian household spending on food as a portion of the total household budget has decreased from 19% in the 1960s to 10% in 2009, according to statistics from Statistics Canada and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development."

If respondents have a personal connection* to agriculture or have visited a farm, purchasing locally grown or Canadian products is more likely to be a priority, and they are also willing to pay more for them.

*Indicates the respondent knows someone who owns or works on a farm or an agribusiness.

Know someone in agriculture Do not know someone in agriculture
Locally grown products
Purchasing locally grown products is a priority and are willing to pay more for them
50 % 37 %
Canadian products
Purchasing Canadian products is a priority and are willing to pay more for them
47 % 35 %
Have visited a farm Have never visited a farm
Locally grown products
Purchasing locally grown products is a priority and are willing to pay more for them
46 % 21 %
Canadian products
Purchasing Canadian products is a priority and are willing to pay more for them
43 % 21 %

"In Canada, we have a sweet deal," says FCC President and CEO Greg Stewart. "We're fortunate that our farmers and food processors produce safe, high-quality food at some of the lowest prices in the world. I think that it would benefit the industry and our customers if the public knew more about the business of agriculture, and recognized that agriculture is big, dynamic and complex. This industry truly matters to the Canadian economy and to Canadians."

This country's agriculture and agri-food industry employs one in eight people in Canada and feeds people around the world through exports to nearly 200 countries.

Other survey highlights:

  • Consumers from Ontario were more likely to state that purchasing locally grown and Canadian products (46% and 47% respectively) is a priority and they are willing to pay more for them compared to consumers across other provinces.
  • If annual income was greater than $100,000, respondents were more likely to indicate that purchasing locally grown products (53%) and Canadian products (49%) is a priority and that they are willing to pay more.
  • Shoppers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (66%) were more likely than others to state that they like purchasing Canadian products, but are not willing to pay more for them compared to other respondents.

"FCC is deeply committed to the success of Canadian agriculture and intends to do more work to help educate the public about the industry," Stewart says.

About the survey

From March 8 to March 10, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 2,015 Canadians who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error on the full base — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 2.1%. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. To view more survey results, including comparisons by age and province, visit www.fccvision.ca/research.

As Canada's leading agriculture lender, FCC is advancing the business of agriculture. With a healthy portfolio of more than $20 billion and 17 consecutive years of portfolio growth, FCC is strong and stable – committed to serving the industry through all cycles. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations. FCC employees are passionate about agriculture and committed to the success of customers and the industry. For more information, visit www.fcc.ca.

For more information, interviews, graphs or photos, contact Eva Larouche.

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