More millennials are connecting to people, places and practices that raise our livestock, vegetables and seafood, a new survey has found.
By Fabian Dawson
More and more young people are connecting to the people, places and practices that raise our food, a new research report from Cargill has found.
In its latest Feed4Thought survey, Cargill found that twice as many young respondents (18 – 34) in the U.S. and China reported knowing a livestock or seafood farmer compared to those over 55 — with similar trends in Mexico and France.
Dubbed “Generation Yum”, a label coined by author Eve Turow (pictured), over 80 percent of survey respondents said the way an animal is raised is important, and almost half of them were willing to pay more as a result.
“Young respondents in every country surveyed were more likely to have visited a farm than those over 55, despite the fact that, globally, there are fewer farmers to know or visit today than there were a generation ago.
They want to learn how innovative practices are creating healthier, more sustainable farms,” the report authors concluded.
“The top responsibility of a livestock or seafood farmer, according to respondents of this global research, was producing safe food for consumers,” said Marina Crocker, head of Cargill Animal Nutrition market insights, in a statement.
“We know people increasingly care about animal welfare, the healthfulness of foods and sustainability,” she said.
Feed4Thought is a regular consumer survey effort from Cargill Animal Nutrition, which has more than 20,000 employees at 275 facilities in 40 countries, that explores key perceptions and opinions about important topics in the animal protein supply chain.
Attracting more millennials to the seafood farming sector is one of the key objectives of the aquaculture industry in Canada, which has a younger-than-average domestic workforce with two-thirds of all employees under the age of 35.
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance recently formed a national youth council to share their knowledge and passion for seafood farming.
“We have brought together a group of fourteen young people from across the country – seven women and seven men – to represent the growing presence of youth in this science, sustainability and future-oriented sector,” said CAIA Executive Director, Timothy Kennedy.
The B.C. Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) said it is also planning to increase educational tours to salmon farms this year to showcase how the province’s highest valued seafood product is raised.