Protecting our social license to operate
consumers, social media, and modern agriculture
As members of the food animal community, we are given a “social license to operate” from our consumers, a license that can easily be taken away if they feel we have not lived up to our obligations. Agriculture’s social license is rooted in the beliefs, perceptions, and opinions held by consumers. Our consumers are the ones granting our social license, which is often intangible, and our status can change quickly as new information is learned. In a world that wants to know how its food is being produced, we must embrace transparency and understand how to communicate effectively with our consumers. Veterinarians are a valuable resource to help farms establish care-focused cultures and proactive, auditable protocols in order to keep our “social licenses to operate”.