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Engaging with consumers

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Consumers today have more options than ever before.

Cristen Clark shares agricultural stories and pork recipes on her blog: Food and Swine. Clark, a farmer herself, feels it important to participate in the food and farming conversation.

“My mission is to get everyone to come to the food and farming conversation, and to feel welcome,” Clark said. “To break the tradition of, ‘Oh, let’s tell our story” and extend to that we’re trying to communicate with the ‘why’ we do what we do, not just the ‘what.'”

“You don’t have to be (famous) to have an impact,” Clark says. You just need to meet people where they are comfortable.

“We need to listen to the consumer and get to the root of what they’re asking us, instead of going on and on about things that make us happy, which is usually the science and facts. We need to connect and get to the root of what they want to know, so we can better deliver that message and make them comfortable and confident in the food we’re growing and raising.”

There are a few tips and tricks to effectively communicating with consumers.

“The Center for Food Integrity says people want to know about your shared values. Those are three to five times more likely to earn trust in the food and farming conversation, as opposed to telling about our competence, skills and abilities,” Clark said. 

“I like to let people know that the food I’m raising for your family, my family is also consuming. It’s a great time to be in agriculture, and to communicate and stand up for the industry that’s done so much for us all.”