Consumers Want to Know Where Their Food Comes From, Colorado Ag Attempts to Shape Perceptions

Erin Douglas reported yesterday at the Denver Post Online that, “Coloradans want to know where their food comes from – and they want it to come from nearby family farms – but finding out is harder than it should be, say farmers and agricultural industry leaders.

Younger generations are leading the charge on demanding locally sourced food. They’re starting farm-to-table restaurants, making farmers markets trendy and paying a premium for locally sourced food. But getting the most accurate message out to consumers about where their food comes from and how it is grown is easier said than done.

“As part of Colorado Proud month – as proclaimed by Gov. John Hickenlooper and celebrated with a campaign theme each year – partners in Colorado’s agricultural industry will tour the state this month to show the faces of agriculture.”

Yesterday’s article noted that, “The Colorado Proud program provides a guarantee to consumers that their food was grown, raised or processed in the state. The program started in 1999, but its purple-and-yellow mountain symbol is becoming more powerful. This year’s Colorado Proud survey results suggested that consumers want to ‘feel more connected’ to farmers and food sources.”

The Denver Post article added that, “Petrocco Farms’ Kate Petrocco, whose land spans 3,000 acres from Brighton to north of Greeley, said that consumers don’t necessarily understand how their food is produced. She said people ask her whether Petrocco Farms is a ‘real farm.’ With more than 100 employees and distribution to grocery stores, the operation disrupts perceptions of a traditional family farm, even though it would be impossible to compete otherwise.

‘”There’s a disconnect,’ Petrocco said. ‘If you buy from a grocery store, people think that it’s not from a family farm.'”

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