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Transparency Builds Trust

November 27, 2013
By: Julie (Douglas) Deering, Top Producer Managing Editor

Research outlines seven to-dos for your farm

Across the country, today’s farm businesses are more advanced and sustainable than ever before. While most farmers know that big farming does not mean bad farming, consumers do not.

Consumers are increasingly skeptical that large organizations are worthy of trust, explains Charlie Arnott, CEO of The Center for Food Integrity (CFI).

"Consumers believe that mass production creates more opportunity for error, that industrialized food production is inherently impersonal, and that big companies put profits ahead of public interest," Arnott says. CFI’s 2013 research shows that 48% of consumers believe that large farms are likely to put their interests ahead of consumers’ interests. Research also showed that when the phrase "family farm" is used, only 27% of those surveyed believe that farm interests come before consumer interests.

Large family farms averaging 1,421 acres, make up 3.9% of farms and 13% of acres, accoding to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture. It also shows that very large family farms averaging 2,086 acres, make up 4.6% of farms and 23% of acres.

CFI’s research identified seven components (outlined below) to help farms build trust. In its report, CFI states that when these seven elements and their impact on the trust model were measured, they found that "accuracy" had the greatest relationship to trust, but all seven scores were within a half a point of one another on a 10-point scale.

Arnott says this breakthrough model provides a clear path to effectively address the growing
skepticism about today’s food. 

Elements of transparency


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FEATURED IN: Top Producer - December 2013

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