This Saturday my diary will see me on a 2.30 pm panel discussion led by Jenny Brockie of Insight fame as part of the Siteworks event FUTURE FOOD FEAST A DAY OF TALKING, EATING & DOING. The event is billed as a day of experiences about growing and eating food with consumers, farmers, artists and activists at the Bundanon Trust.
My fellow panellists are:
John Crawford – Scientist
Jared Ingersoll – Chef
Ingrid Just – Consumer Advocate
Michael McAllum – Futurist
Jodie Newcombe – Economist
and yours truly Lynne Strong – Farmer
I have done a little research on the philosophies of my fellow panellists and DR GOOGLE tells me we are a diverse group indeed.
I have also done a a little background on the ethical shopping habits of Australian consumers
Thanks to the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Net Balance report of 2010 there is an interesting report that sheds some light on the attitudes and behaviour of Australian urban shoppers.
It is particularly relevant to us farmers as the report focuses on the decisions customers make about selecting GREEN products.
By “GREEN” they mean environmentally friendly – but there is quite a bit of crossover in consumers minds about these products being good for animal welfare and for social reasons as well.
For example ‘Barn laid’ eggs are seen as a ‘green’ product by consumers when in fact they have a higher environmental foot print than caged eggs.
The report sheds some light on the differences between what consumers SAY they want… and what they actually DO. That is shoppers were asked about their ‘green’ product preferences and then their shopping trolley was actually examined to see what they had actually done.
And this is what our urban customers say..
Most people surveyed (93%) think that it is important for the retailer to make an effort to reduce their environmental impact and most are concerned about the impact on the environment of the products that they buy. I.e.… everyone else should be doing something!
- 80% said they think about environmental issues when they buy
- And 50% have taken the time to inform themselves of the green credential of at least some products….
But here is the killer – when their shopping trolleys were examined – only 13% had actually knowingly made a ‘green’ purchase
Personally I feel just as strongly about sustainable food consumption as I do about sustainable food production. I don’t seek out green products but I do strive to only buy what I need and waste as little as possible of what I buy
This Saturday I am looking forward to both listening to what my fellow panellists and the audience say and having my opportunity to share agriculture’s story and then sharing it all with you.