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Corteva Agriscience Sustainability Study Explores Consumer Demands

More than 80% of consumers in Spain would change their purchasing habits if they were better able to identify more sustainable food, according to a new report from Corteva Agriscience.

Some 2,000 consumers participated in the study entitled Sustainability in the Food Sector: A Challenge for All, which explores consumer demands and trends relating to sustainably produced food.

While more than 70% of respondents cited some knowledge about sustainable agri-food processes, almost 80% said they lacked understanding and, of these, more than 75% wanted more information. (Note: Please see the briefing below for more information on the findings.)

Manuel Melgarejo, Corteva Agriscience Spain and Portugal Country Leader, said: “The sector is focused on advancing more and better sustainable practices. This study is key to knowing where we are going in terms of sustainability and, above all, to better understand increasing consumer demands for more environmentally-friendly products and practices.

“We believe that it is vital to collaborate with farmers to balance profitable production, the conservation of natural resources and environmental protection. We will continue to work to solve future needs guided by sustainability and an increased global demand for healthy, nutritious food.”

The report also includes additional input from stakeholders including the Business Association for Plant Protection (AEPLA), The National Association of Plant Breeders (ANOVE), the Spanish Association of Supermarket Chains (ACES) and the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-services and Supermarkets (ASEDAS).

The Spanish study comes after the release of Corteva’s 2030 Sustainability Goals to advance sustainability throughout the global food system. The 14 goals are based around four key pillars: Goals to benefit farmers; Goals to benefit the land; Goals to benefit communities and Goals for the company’s operations. They set out a measurable 10-year vision to help increase yield stability, optimize inputs, and improve climate resilience.

Corteva also conducted a Europe-wide Sustainable Food Systems in Europe study last year in association with Financial Times Company Longitude, which revealed that European consumers and farmers see sustainability as a top priority for the future of agriculture.

Key findings

Sustainability in the Food Sector: A Challenge for All

One of the prominent trends in food today is the demand for increasingly sustainable and environmentally-friendly products, motivated by growing concern for the environment, the increase in population and the fight against climate change.

This study comes as part of Corteva Agriscience’s efforts to better understand consumer preferences and demands for more sustainable agriculture. Around 72% of respondents have some knowledge about sustainable food production and the majority (79.1%) recognize that they are not correctly informed on the processes carried out in sustainable agriculture. More than 75% of these confirmed that they would like more information about the how to make this type of agriculture possible.

In terms of purchasing, 51% of respondents claim to consume more sustainably produced products compared to 49% who have maintained their usual purchasing habits. Reasons for this include: lack of clear labeling (39%); difficulty finding sustainable products (26%); price differences (15%); differences in taste, smell or appearance (20%) and concern over food safety (2%).

The study also shows that the lack of knowledge about sustainably-produced food is partly due to confusing or scarce information on agricultural processes. More than 80% of participants said they would adapt their purchasing habits if they were better able to identify more sustainable food.

It concluded that farmers adopting more sustainable practices should be supported by governmental and social institutions and receive economic backing when needed.

The study was based on an online survey of 2,000 men and women aged between 25 and 60.

Source: Corteva