What is the role of technology and innovation in food production? How do I know the food I’m consuming is safe? Are farmers and food companies putting profits ahead of public interest? The 2013 CFI Food Integrity Summit, Oct. 15-16 in Rosemont, Ill., addressed many questions on the minds of today’s consumers. An impressive lineup of speakers and panelists spoke to issues of building trust in innovation, transparency in the food system, and tackling global hunger – and CFI unveiled its 2013 Consumer Trust in the Food System research. We invite you to dig into the details by viewing the presentations below.
Tuesday, October 15
GMO Reality Check: Public Fear and Misunderstanding – Managing the Challenge of Food System Technology and Public Trust
Mark Lynas, Climate Science Expert and Author
Mark Lynas details his compelling journey from perpetuating unfounded scare stories about GMOs in the early 90s to his recent admission that the controversy surrounding life-saving GM technologies is one of the "greatest science communications failures of the past half-century." Lynas discusses his personal responsibility to put these myths to rest and his call to leaders to work together and undo the damage that has been done.
Food Insecurity: Challenges, Potential Solutions and the Way Forward
John Lamb, Principal Associate/Senior Fellow, Abt Associates
From 2010 to 2012, some 870 million people are estimated to have been undernourished (one-eighth of the global population). The vast majority live in developing countries, where nearly 15 percent of the population is considered undernourished. Even in the U.S., a similar percentage of households are food insecure. Despite numerous efforts, limited progress has occurred. Inequality, climate change, conflict, food prices and food/water safety are issues that continue to work against the desired trend. Which are the most promising solutions?
Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology Center, University of Missouri
The flow of food innovations, their speed of adoption, their transfer rate from one country to another and their impacts on the competitive position of firms, sectors, regions and countries are unprecedented. Not surprisingly, such changes have drawn large numbers of stakeholders and policymakers into complex public debates about the "proper" role of innovation and the appropriate policy responses. Informed public discussion is needed regarding the social and economic benefits of innovation to allow us to produce more food using fewer resources.
Breaking Through Consumer Skepticism: 2013 Foundation for Food Integrity
Charlie Arnot, The Center for Food Integrity
The CFI trust model proves that the perception of shared values is the primary driver of trust – but growing skepticism in "big food" can be a barrier to building those bridges. The presentation includes the results of the 2013 Consumer Trust Survey – and the impact of "social outrage factors" in undermining trust.
*This is an abbreviated consumer trust presentation.
A comprehensive presentation is available to CFI members on request, please contact Allyson Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel Discussion: Food System Experts Share Consumer Insights Research
Diverse panelists bring a unique perspective to the table on consumer trust. Each group represents expert consumer insight, and discussed results and strategies they’ve adopted for developing trust.
Linda W. Eatherton, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance
Wednesday, October 16
Developing Trust in an Environment of Mistrust
Litjen (L.J.) Tan, MS, PhD, The Immunization Action Coalition
Ours isn’t the only industry facing growing public skepticism about technology and innovation. Misinformation, unreliable studies and unfounded fears are fueling an anti-immunization movement despite the fact that the U.S. has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Learn how Immunization Action Coalition challenges and strategies on gaining trust and acceptance in an increasingly suspicious environment can help us bridge the gap with consumers.
Building Trust Online: What We See and What We Do
Increasingly, consumers want to know who’s producing their food, how it’s produced and what’s in it. A panel of food system online community managers share strategies for transparency and building trust through online communities. Also, learn more about CFI’s new predictive analysis tool that allows the food industry to get out in front of emerging issues and trends.
Panel Discussion: What Radical Transparency Looks Like
When it comes to transparency and today’s consumer, there often are more questions than answers – and the answers we do have can be complex. How do we best create an atmosphere where consumers feel equipped to make informed decisions and trust that we’re being open and honest? And how do we respond when we don’t have all the answers?
Creating a New Conversation About Food
Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD
Carolyn O’Neil, a registered dietitian, author and former CNN reporter, talks about her role in CFI’s "A New Conversation about Food." O’Neil serves as a food thought leader, involved in the national conversation on topics such as nutrition and health, food safety and technology to stimulate a more informed public conversation.