On February 1, 2021, the U.S. reached a momentous milestone in the fight against COVID-19 – more people have now been vaccinated against the virus than infected. This is seen by many as the first step in escaping from under the cover of food shortage and other pandemic challenges.

The pandemic has directly impacted how we get our food.

It is going to be a fascinating cultural study to see what food consumer habits are adopted long after the pandemic fog lifts. Grocery and food pick up,delivery and online ordering are likely all here to stay. But what does this mean for American agriculture and farming? And Americans’ perceptions of the farmer?

Growing food is essential to the food supply chain.

Half of Americans recently surveyed by G&S Communications said that the coronavirus pandemic helped them realize the important place farmers have as essential workers in our food supply chain. Understanding the vital role farmers play in our society is the first step. Now, consumers are seeing how complex the process is to get a potato chip in that bag. Farming and food production are not simple. Today’s farmers not only hold college degrees in areas from agriculture science to business but also do the job duties of mechanics, engineers, data scientists, accountants and agronomists. An awful lot of art, ingenuity and science goes into producing and distributing food safely, efficiently and cost effectively.

Your role in the supply chain impacts your reputation.

Have you communicated how your company works hand-in-hand with farmers and supply chain partners to make it all possible? Have you helped demystify the production of food, and corrected misinformation? If not at all, or maybe not enough, now is the time to align with positive farmer perceptions and reinforce your own reputation with proactive communications.

Grow your reputation by talking to farmers and agriculture audiences with human-centric, communications.

The small-town coffee shop has always been a place where farmers gather to swap stories. There is a reason these get-togethers have stood the test of time – farmers care about what other farmers think. They mine each other for information. They commiserate and complain. They lift each other up and help each other out. This human connection will always be important for grower audiences. Developing communications that showcase the unique ways your food or farming product is used in communities can enhance your reputation and foster quality brand engagement.

Earn consumer trust with engaging, transparent storytelling about your role in food production.

Consumer interest in the origin of food, fiber and fuel has never been higher. Capitalize on it! Lending transparency to food production and processing operations helps clarify the process. As Americans are more and more removed from the farm every year, storytelling can bring its creation to life. It has never been easier to reach ready and willing audiences through social media platforms and videos.

Balance your brand's messaging about food safety and sustainability to reassure customers that both
are a priority.

If your business supports the production, protection, efficiency, safety, traceability or distribution of food, consider communicating with farm, supply chain and consumer audiences about your sustainable efforts. The memorable, impactful stories and messages you project now will have staying power in the post-pandemic years ahead. Print, broadcast and social media channels can all help increase awareness of your brand, drive purchase consideration and burnish your reputation.

 

Access our in-depth report on what's next for agribusiness in our Reshaping the Future series here

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