Consumer Misperceptions about Food Remain

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Consumers reading labels, meat The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance recently released findings of a survey conducted about Americans’ perceptions on food production. While the survey revealed that consumers believe food production is heading in the right direction, it also found Americans still have widespread misperceptions about how today’s food is grown and raised. 

According to survey findings, more than one in four Americans admit they often are confused about the food they purchase. Three in five Americans would like to know more about how food is grown and raised.

The research also revealed that while 84 percent of Americans believe that farmers and ranchers in America are committed to improving how food is grown, 50 percent of those surveyed think farmers and ranchers are missing from the current media conversation around food. 

USFRA also surveyed farmers and ranchers on their perceptions of consumers’ attitudes toward food production and what they want in a dialogue with consumers. Findings indicate that three-quarters of farmers and ranchers believe that the average consumer has very little to no knowledge about U.S. food production.  

Farmers, Producers Needed to Tell Their Story

USFRA was created to lead the dialogue and answer the tough questions consumers have about today’s food production through events, social media, access to farmers and ranchers, and content on its website, fooddialogues.com.

The USFRA encourages farmers and ranchers to engage consumer audiences about today’s agriculture. “Most all farmers need to do a better job of telling their story,” according to Dallas Hockman, vice president, industry relations, National Pork Producers Council. “Once people discover you’re a producer, they have lots of questions.”

USFRA and its 80 member-companies have conducted research to help farmers and ranchers answer consumers’ questions. “Now it’s time for ranchers and producers to get on-board,” Hockman says. “We need a lot of farmers and ranchers to participate in the growing national food conversation.”

Producers and farmers can join the conversation at fooddialogues.com. “You can have a conversation online with consumers on a variety of topics,” Hockman says. “We need to tell our story.”

USFRA has conducted three national Food Dialogues events in a 14-month time span. These events compelled key customers as well as detractors to join the dialogue with farmers and ranchers about today’s food production.

According to USFRA, there are six steps to becoming involved.

  1. Commit to learn more — Sign up for alerts and information at fooddialogues.com/user/register.
  2. Understand the language — Since 2011, USFRA has conducted a wide range of research to identify ways to continue to break through to influence consumers.
  3. Get trained — “Conversations with EASE — Engage, Acknowledge, Share and Earn Trust” is a presentation that provides ways to start or continue dialogues about food production.
  4. Tell your story in your own words — Start a conversation wherever you are: at the grocery store, at the airport, at a sporting event or on Facebook or Twitter.
  5. Join the movement — Support USFRA’s efforts by joining the movement, along with 80 affiliates and industry partners.
  6. Respond to misinformation —There are times when we see news stories, videos or online comments about farming and ranching that are inaccurate. USFRA provides farmers and ranchers ways to clarify misperceptions.

“We want consumers to know that America’s farmers and ranchers share their values and are committed to answering Americans’ questions about how we raise and grow food,” said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “I encourage America’s farmers and ranchers to become involved by sharing their stories of continuous improvement and setting the record straight about today’s agriculture.”



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