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Study shows next-gen farmers & consumers interest in food system


Corteva Agriscience announced the results of a global study of Gen Z/millennial farmers and consumers. The research, commissioned by Corteva Agriscience, examined views on the future of food and farming by next-gen farmers and consumers in the United States, Brazil, China, France, and Russia. Notably, the study reveals surveyed participants in different global markets are highly aligned in their concern about the future of food and farming.

The study, conducted by Kantar, also revealed that next-gen farmers and consumers want to have more influence over decisions about how food is grown, sold, and consumed; and share a deep desire to be involved in securing the financial and environmental sustainability of farms. Key insights from the research are profiled in an accompanying white paper that includes data from each of the countries involved in the study.

“Two of the most important voices in the food system today are those of young farmers and consumers,” said James C. Collins, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Corteva Agriscience. “They see that the future and ability to thrive are interconnected. Now is the time to empower both farmers and consumers to face the challenges of the future with mutual understanding, appreciation, and a willingness to work together to ensure long-term security to both farming and food.”

Key Study Findings include:

Protecting the Future of Food

  • 89 percent of surveyed consumers and 73 percent of surveyed farmers are concerned the world will not have enough food for its nutritional needs by 2040.
  • 90 percent or more of next-gen farmers and consumers agree everyone needs to compromise to secure the future of food
  • More than 80 percent of young farmers and consumers are willing to take personal responsibility for helping address the challenges of food and farming.

Securing the Future of the Farm

  • 80 percent of surveyed consumers and 81 percent of surveyed farmers agree that it will be difficult for farmers to make a living in the future.
  • 90 percent agree that farmers will have to adopt innovative new technologies and methods to address the food and farming issues we face.

Ensuring the Voices of Consumers and Farmers are Heard

  • 93 percent of both next-gen consumers and farmers feel they need a bigger voice when it comes to securing the future of food and farming.
  • Next-gen consumers (94 percent) and farmers (80 percent) have opinions about what food should be produced and they also believe that big players in the food chain — including food wholesalers, food input suppliers, and food manufacturing companies — have more influence than they do over how food is grown, sold, and consumed.

Confronting Climate Volatility

  • 95 percent of farmers and 97 percent of consumers believe the climate is changing, and they also believe that it will have a negative impact on the global food supply in the next 20 years with the exception of young farmers and consumers in the U.S., where less than half feel this way.
  • Over 90 percent of both next-gen farmers and consumers want to live in a world where no one must choose between the environment and having enough to eat, and both groups want to join forces to find ways in which both farming and consumption can change to have a lower impact on climate.

“Farmers and consumers often are portrayed as two different parties at opposite ends of the global food system. The findings in this study reveal a different picture of young farmers and consumers wanting to meet in the middle and define ways to solve some of biggest issues in the future of farming and food,” said Dana Bolden, Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Sustainability for Corteva Agriscience. “Finding common ground is essential and we are committed to exploring ways where Corteva can help cultivate the kinds of conversations between the next generation of farmers and consumers that are needed to bring about timely solutions.”

For the purposes of this study, next-generation farmers were defined as 16 to 38-year-old decision-makers on farms, and next-generation consumers were defined as 16 to 38-year-old non-farmers. The survey was conducted among a minimum of 100 farmers and 500 consumers per country for a total of more than 3,000 survey respondents.

Further information on this study and its findings can be found here.

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