The public perception of modern agriculture is gradually moving in a positive direction, although there is more work to do when it comes to educating the average consumer. This past November, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) released the results of a survey that polled 1,250 consumers on their opinions of farming, food production and how they make decisions about the food they eat. One of the more significant findings of the survey revealed that 84 percent of respondents believe farmers and ranchers in America are committed to improving how food is grown and raised. The survey offered some surprising results when it comes to consumers’ overall views of food production:
- Three in five Americans would like to know more about how food is grown and raised, but don’t feel they have the time or money to prioritize (59 percent).
- Young adults (18-29 years old) are more likely than any other age group to say they are often confused about food purchases (38 percent).
- Americans are more likely to report that how food is grown and raised will impact their purchase decision in the grocery store than impact their decisions when dining out (86 percent versus 76 percent).
- While Americans want to learn about organic farming and ranching (27 percent), nearly all report that it’s most important there are healthy choices available, even if they’re not organic or local options (91 percent).
- One in 10 Americans says they’d rather not pay attention to how their food is grown and raised, and instead just enjoy it, while 40 percent report they do not pay attention.
Farmers and ranchers were also polled as part of the survey and 51 percent of those respondents indicated they would like to see more emphasis on communication with consumers. Additional findings from USFRA’s 2012 survey are available on their website.
Farmers and ag allies have the knowledge and tools to address consumers’ hunger for information! CropLife America’s Tell Me More site provides resources and conversation starters that you can use to keep moving consumer confidence in a positive direction.