Paulsen Co-Sponsors Ag United Annual Luncheon

December 16, 2015

Once again Paulsen was pleased to co-sponsor the annual luncheon for Ag United for South Dakota. Agency staffers Allyse Thaler, Sarah Wolfswinkel, Tara Young and Greg Guse represented the agency at this annual event held December 15 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Over 200 ag producers and industry representatives attended the noon luncheon.

Keynote speaker was Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Arnot delivered a presentation titled “Building Trust in Today’s Food System” that encouraged the ag audience to create more transparency and build trust with today’s consumers.

“Although today’s food system is safer, more available and more affordable than ever, today’s consumers are more skeptical and less trusting than ever before,” he explained. “Food has become a very personal issue and consolidation, integration and industrialization in agriculture have eroded trust among consumers. Our research shows that today’s consumers like farmers, but don’t like farming,” he added.

According to Arnot, the answer to rebuilding consumer trust in agriculture requires transparency among ag producers and agribusinesses. “Transparency is no longer optional,” he said. “Engage early, often and consistently with your consumer audience.”

An example of transparency in agriculture mentioned by Arnot is an egg producer in California that has live video cameras in the production facilities that offer 24/7 viewing via the producer’s website.

Arnot said building trust isn’t just giving consumers more science, more research or more information.

“Our research shows it’s about demonstrating that you share their values when it comes to topics they care about most, like safe food, quality nutrition, outstanding animal care and environmental stewardship,” he explained.

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