The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance recently released findings of a survey conducted about Americans' perceptions on food production. The survey, conducted to share with consumer media prior to The Food Dialogues: New York, revealed Americans increasingly believe food production is heading in the right direction.
However, the survey also found Americans still have widespread misperceptions about how today's food is grown and raised. More than 1,200 consumers nationwide were polled via telephone, with an oversample of 236 consumers in the New York City designated media area. The survey was fielded Oct. 22-28, 2012.
Key survey findings include:
-Fifty-three percent of Americans believe food production is heading in the right direction — an increase from the 48% who believed the same in a benchmark 2011 USFRA survey.
-More than one in four Americans (27%) admit they often are confused about the food they are purchasing. Young adults (18-29 years old) are more likely than any other age group to say they are often confused about food purchases (38%).
-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 for that to be a priority (59%).
-When it comes to dining out, Americans prioritize quality (48%), cost (42%) and taste (38%). When purchasing groceries, Americans prioritize cost (47%), quality (43%) and healthiness/nutrition (21%).
-While Americans want to learn about organic farming and ranching (27%), nearly all report that it's most important there are healthy choices available, even if they're not organic or local options (91%).
-Americans overall (84%) believe that farmers and ranchers in America are committed to improving how food is grown and raised. Half of Americans (50%) think farmers and ranchers are missing from the media conversation around food these days.
USFRA also surveyed farmers and ranchers on their perceptions of consumers' attitudes towards food production and what they want in a dialogue with consumers. More than 500 farmers and ranchers responded via telephone, including 36 who opted in for participation through the USFRA site. The survey was conducted Oct. 23-29, 2012.
-Three-quarters of farmers and ranchers believe that the average consumer has very little to no knowledge about food production in the United States (76%). In fact, nearly three out of five farmers and ranchers believe consumers have an inaccurate perception of today's agriculture (59%).
-Farmers and ranchers want to see more of an emphasis on sustainability and the environment (42%) and transparency with consumers and customers (36%).
-Farmers and ranchers report topics best represented to American consumers include those related to family-owned farms (34%), commitment to food safety (23%) and the education level of farmers and ranchers (20%).
Ketchum Global Research & Analytics designed and analyzed the consumer phone survey, which was fielded by Braun Research Inc. and has a margin of error of +/-2.8% at the 95% confidence level. The same companies also handled the farmer survey, which has a margin of error of +/-4.4% at the 95% confidence level.
To learn more about USFRA's survey results, visit www.fooddialogues.com.