Cargill survey: US, Brazilian consumers prefer beef raised without antibiotics
Surveys comparing consumer attitudes in the two largest beef-producing countries - the US and Brazil - reveals several important trends in purchasing preference that are influenced by how beef is raised and fed.
Cargill's 'Feed for Thought' survey of more than 2,000 people in the countries found that the majority of US consumers (54%) and Brazilian consumers (69%) are more likely to purchase beef raised without antibiotics. Only 35% in both countries are willing to pay more for it.
"I expect that as American Millennials age, we will need to work toward continuously heightening our efforts in the area of transparency, while always working to address consumer food trends with a nutritious and affordable food supply," said Randy Krotz, CEO of the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. "Animal feed companies and farmers must continue to find alternatives to meet consumer demand and should be prepared to serve a customer base that scrutinises where their food comes from and how it's made."
Recognising this consumer trend, Cargill's beef business in the US recently reduced shared-class antibiotics - those used for both animal and human health – by 20% at its four cattle feed yards, as well as at four alliance partner feed yards, representing a total of approximately 1.2 million animals annually.
Cargill Animal Nutrition sits at the heart of the food supply chain, playing an important role in sourcing the right ingredients and using its global research, technology and innovation expertise to produce feed that meets distinct nutrition requirements for animals to be cared for in a manner that its customers expect.
"Consumer preferences for how beef cattle are raised and fed are evolving," said Clint Calk, beef commercial director of Cargill Animal Nutrition. "More and more people care not only about the food they eat, but also about what is fed to animals that produce our food. As a result, we are working hard to develop natural alternatives to antibiotics designed to improve sustainability and to answer the call for more options from our customers and consumers."
Cargill Animal Nutrition has worked closely with its customers to develop important feed ingredient alternatives such as essential oils, yeasts and other naturally occurring plant extracts as a way to improve animal wellbeing and to reduce antibiotic use.
Cargill supports antibiotic reductions and is committed to the judicious therapeutic use of animal antibiotics to treat sick animals and help maintain the safety of our world food supply. The company is also committed to transparency in antibiotic use, and will continue to research and develop new alternatives.
"Simply put, we live in a world that will need to feed nine billion people by 2050, and we are fully committed to doing this in a way that is sustainable and responsible, and in a manner that meets the expectations of consumers both today and tomorrow," Calk said.
The Feed for Thought survey is a regular consumer survey effort from Cargill Animal Nutrition that explores key perceptions and opinions about important topics in the animal protein supply chain. The online survey for Cargill Animal Nutrition was conducted by ORC International.
The US survey was conducted on July 11-13 and polled a demographically representative sample of 1,016 US adults. The Brazilian survey was conducted on July 15-20 and polled a demographically representative sample of 1,003 Brazilian adults.