Direction of our food systems

Are we headed the right direction or on the wrong track with the U.S. food system?

Consumers are generally pleased with the system that provides them safe, healthy food, research shows.

During the past several weeks, Industry At A Glance has featured highlights from a recent annual survey performed by the Center for Food Integrity (CFI):  Inside the Mind of Influencers – The Truth About Trust. Data has included most trusted sources around food and broader assessment of impression and knowledge of food and agriculture.  

Last week’s column revealed that survey participants were generally favorable toward agriculture. Nearly 70% of respondents possessed either a very positive (25%) or somewhat positive (43%) impression of food and agriculture. Meanwhile, nearly 80% expressed an interest in knowing more about the food system and where food comes from. 

This week’s data is the broadest category of all. The questions ask whether consumers believe the food system is headed in the right direction (55%), down the wrong track (23%) or were generally unsure about its direction (22%). To that end, CFI notes that, “Survey results show a fairly significant upward trend in the number of consumers who feel the food system is headed in the right direction – 55% this year, compared to 40% in 2015.”

That’s consistent with last week’s data. That is, it appears that consumer attitudes toward food and agriculture may be improving. And better yet, there’s an opening toward them learning more about where their food comes from.

How do you perceive these results? Are you surprised by the improvement over time? Do you foresee an important opening for food and agriculture to make substantial gains in consumer trust? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Nevil Speer is based in Bowling Green, Ky., and serves as vice president of U.S. operations for AgriClear, Inc. – a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group Limited. The views and opinions of the author expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the TMX Group Limited and Natural Gas Exchange Inc.

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