As part of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s (CRSB’s) mandate to recognize and advance sustainability in Canadian beef production, it is important to measure the understanding, attitudes, and changing perceptions of Canadian consumers. CRSB partnered with a consumer research agency to ask Canadians questions about what is on their mind when it comes to beef and sustainability.
Sustainability is on the minds of Canadians – it is popular, aspirational, and part of a lifestyle many are hoping to achieve. While its impact on actual behaviour is limited (factors like price and quality are not minimized by desires to lead a sustainable life), it does sway perceptions, which can be just as powerful in the long-term. The majority of Canadians have an interest in a sustainable lifestyle – 84 per cent are trying to make more sustainable choices, with three-quarters who are passionate about making sustainable food choices.
Impressions of sustainability in the beef industry remain consistent and overall positive. A majority believe the beef industry can be sustainable, is operating sustainably in Canada, and is working to improve its environmental footprint.
Three in five Canadians feel better after reading about the industry’s long-term 2030 goals, with strongest support for reducing food loss and waste, maintaining and enhancing agricultural land that supports wildlife habitat, and reducing GHG emissions by 33 per cent.
Over 90 per cent of Canadians report being beef eaters. Taste, quality, and price still remain the most important factors for purchasing beef, though sustainability factors are rising in importance. Fifty-six per cent of Canadians say they would be more likely to purchase a beef product if they see the CRSB Certified logo on the product.
Demand continues to grow for CRSB Certified beef. Last year, 10 million lb. of beef were sold with a CRSB Claim; a 36 per cent increase from the previous year. Demand continues to outweigh supply, even with further uptake of the program by producers. The CRSB encourages producers at all stages of the supply chain – cow-calf, backgrounder, and feedlot – to get certified and take advantage of the incentive programs offered by our members, including FCC and Cargill.
The research was done by Abacus Data with a representative sample of 2,000 Canadians, with a margin of error of ±2.19%, 19 times out of 20. The data was weighted against Canadian census data to ensure it matched Canada’s population in terms of age, gender, education, and region.