American agricultural biotechnologist Jack Bobo summed it up well when he said “consumers have never cared more, nor known less, about where their food comes from.”
Those consumers are in a powerful position.
They are the ones who choose what they buy – and increasingly this is a conscious choice - buying food they feel has been produced in a way that aligns with their values.
“Consumers have never cared more, nor known less, about where their food comes from” - Bobo
This has created a chicken and egg situation for our agri-businesses: how do consumers place a value on what you do if they don’t know your story?
Our fresh fruit and vegetable growers have a great story to tell which would help educate people about our food system but despite this an increasing number of New Zealanders remain in the dark.
Somewhere along the line we are missing a trick if we want to bridge the gap.
The story isn’t getting through to the consumer.
Last time you bought a pumpkin or squash at the supermarket, did you know where it came from, when it was grown, who grew it, how the farmer uses water or rotates crops to promote soil health?
At the point of sale in New Zealand, there is often little or no information for the conscious consumer who isn’t already armed with a back catalogue of brand names they know and trust.