Kramp says he now understands the ramifications that producers could face if restaurant operators begin to make big changes based on possible consumer misinformation. He says if he listened solely to consumer requests regarding food buzz words, without having a conversation with farmers and ranchers, economies could begin to change by "providing products to consumers who really aren't educated as to what the ultimate effects could be – environmentally or nutritionally."
Doak adds that the restaurant's responsibility in informing the customer isn't always easy. As a former leader behind Culver's move to chicken raised without antibiotics, he explains that the next step is informing employees.
"We are continuing to find out what information and how much information is right to give to that line employee to be able to speak intelligently to the guest," Doak says. "It's something that's still under review: How do you package it into a sound byte that they are comfortable talking about?"
Two producers joining the restaurant representatives on the webinar, Laura Foell and Randy Spronk, agree that more transparency and easily-understood information is needed from producers. Issues such as biotech seed, organic production and gestation crates are hot topics that consumers are increasingly curious about.