Apr 12, 2021
Consumers see ag as part of climate change answer: survey

When it comes to climate change, consumers view agriculture as a part of the solution rather than the problem, according to an international survey sponsored by Cargill.

Participants in the global who indicated climate change was important to them also rated livestock and agriculture lowest in negative impact compared with other industries generally regarded as significant contributors, according to a news release. More than a third of respondents expressed confidence in the industry’s ability to limit its contributions to climate change.    

Cargill’s survey included responses from 2,510 consumers representing the U.S., France, South Korea and Brazil, according to the release. Among all participants, transportation and deforestation were ranked as the greatest contributors to climate change. According to consumers surveyed, who’s most responsible for accelerating change? 59% said that federal and national governments bear the highest responsibility for addressing climate change, while 57% saw companies involved in beef production and 50% saw cattle farmers as responsible for reducing the impact of livestock.

“Sustainability in our food systems starts with the dedication of our farmers,” said Heather Tansey, sustainability lead for Cargill’s protein and animal nutrition businesses.

Cargill Cargill Animal Nutrition & Health offers a range of products and services to feed manufacturers, animal producers and feed retailers around the world. Those offerings include a variety of organic and NON-GMO edible oil products. Earlier this year, the company announced involvement in an effort to help many of its grain farmers plant more organic acres.

While consumer views varied by region, the quarterly survey found that nearly 80% of consumers around the world who indicated climate change as important reported a willingness to make a change in the type of food they purchase. In turn, about half of these consumers said they would be willing to pay a premium for a product that promises a low carbon footprint to curb their impact.

“Ultimately, our farmers are being asked to do more with fewer resources,” Jon Nash, who leads Cargill’s animal protein and salt business, said in a news release. “The future of agriculture requires us to collectively enable farmers with the resources and innovation they need to meet sustainability challenges, while ensuring strong farming businesses for themselves and their families.

The consumer survey from Cargill’s animal nutrition & health business, called Feed4Thought, explores perspectives on leading topics in the animal protein supply chain. The latest survey, conducted in January 2021 by the research firm Engine, polled a demographically representative sample of 2,510 adults in the U.S., Brazil, France and South Korea.

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