Canadians See Many Benefits Of Locally Grown Food

Friday, December 01, 2006

Toronto, ON - A new Ipsos Reid survey has found that Canadians believe locally grown food has many benefits over 'regular' food. Given a list of possible benefits of locally grown fruits and vegetables, Canadians are most likely to say the top benefit is that they help their local economy (27%) and that they support family farmers (22%).

Others believe the top benefit of locally grown fruits and vegetables is that they taste better (10%), are healthier (6%), are cheaper (5%), are not genetically modified (5%), or have no chemicals or synthetic pesticides (5%). Only one in ten Canadians (11%) say there are no real benefits of locally grown fruits and vegetables over other fruits and vegetables.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll fielded from November 10-13th, 2006. The survey was conducted online among a representative random sample of 1091 adult Canadians. The data in this survey have been weighted by region, age and gender according to Census data. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within ± 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire adult population been polled. The margin of error is larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population.

Canadians See Many Benefits Of Locally Grown Food
According to the majority of Canadians, the many benefits of buying locally grown fruits and vegetables - not just the top benefit - are that they:

  • Help their local economy (71%),
  • Support family farmers (70%),
  • Taste better (53%), and
  • Are Cheaper (50%).

Slightly less than half believe each of the following is a benefit of locally grown fruit and vegetables:

  • Not genetically modified (48%),
  • Healthier (46%),
  • No chemical / Synthetic pesticides (45%),
  • Safer (44%)
  • Environmentally friendly (43%), and
  • Preserves green belts (41%)

Similar proportions said each of these is also a benefit of locally grown meat compared to 'regular' fresh meat. In addition, 46% of Canadians believe a benefit of locally raised meat is that it has no added hormones or steroids.

One-Quarter Of Canadians Have Read, Heard Or Seen "A Lot" About Locally Grown Food, The Same Level As For Organic Food
One-quarter (25%) of all Canadians have either read, heard or seen "a lot" about locally grown food--the same proportion as those who have read, heard or seen "a lot" about organic food. Just 9% have heard "a lot" about fair trade food and 4% about sustainably farmed food - two other 'new wave' trends.

Those disproportionately likely to have heard "a lot" about locally grown food include:

  • Residents of British Columbia (31%), and
  • Adults age 35 and older (30%).

Those disproportionately likely to have heard of "a lot" about organic food, include:

  • Residents of British Columbia (34%),
  • Younger adults age 18-34 (28%), and
  • Women (28%).

Many other Canadians have read, heard, or see "some" or "a little" about each of these four types of food. Just one in ten have not read, heard or seen anything about locally grown food (11%) or organic food (11%), while in contrast, 52% have never heard of sustainably farmed food and 60% have never heard of fair trade food.

In the past six months, 42% of Canadians have been 'regular purchasers' of locally grown food, saying they "always" or "usually" purchased locally grown food when it was available. Another 38% say they "sometimes" chose locally grown food when it's available, while 20% "rarely or never" did.

Regular purchasers of locally grown food are disproportionately:

  • Age 55 and older (54%), and
  • Women (46%).

Much smaller proportions of Canadians are regular purchasers of other 'new wave' trends: 13% are regular purchasers of free range food options, 13% of sustainably farmed food, 12% of organic food, and 9% of fair trade food.

The Majority Check To See Where Their Fresh Fruit And Vegetables Come From...
Whether they buy locally grown food or not, the majority (56%) of Canadians always (18%) or usually (38%) check to see where their fresh fruit and vegetables have come from when shopping.

As for the rest of Canadians, three and 10 (27%) sometimes check where their fresh produce is from, while one in ten (12%) rarely do, and 5% never check where their fresh produce is from.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Glenys Babcock
Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

For full tabular results, please visit our website at www.ipsos.ca. News Releases are available at: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/


Canadians See Many Benefits Of Locally Grown Food

Contact

Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America

Ipsos
1.778.373.5136
elen.alexov@ipsos.com