Industry, media ‘must ensure consumers get food facts’

6 December 2016

The food industry and the media have a responsibility to ensure consumers are receiving information about food based on fact, not fads and hearsay, say two public relations practitioners.

Jane Dodd and Adelle Keely say in an FGC Leaders Series video interview that there is so much information available that it’s hard for consumers to decide what’s right.

“There’s fads here and there, and one minute fat is the enemy, then sugar is the enemy, and what am I to do as a consumer?” says Keely, General Manager of Acumen Republic. “It’s really difficult to judge even if you’re an informed individual.

“I think there’s a responsibility on everyone, for industry to be open and transparent about what they are funding in terms of research and what those sources are. But also for media to make sure they’re putting forward opinion in the right way, and that it’s informed opinion based on scientific fact, not by fads and hearsay.”

Dodd, Director of The Clique, says the media has a huge influence on people’s decision-making around food.

“Many people change their food purchasing consumption behaviour because of what they’ve heard in the media, so public relations needs to have a role in ensuring that the information delivered through media is scientifically valid and that it is giving useful, applicable messages that consumers can put into practice.

“The New Zealand consumer enjoys one of the best food supplies in the world, and if we want to have more trust then we need to help people understand how we operate as a business, how we produce that food in a way that delivers a food to someone that they can confidently, happily serve to their family and that they feel really good about.”

See the interview on FGC’s YouTube channel here