Published: December 3, 2020

Category: Organic News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter

Millennials—and most shoppers—prioritize convenience and social values when it comes to food purchases.

Ken Dallmier of Clarkson Grain Company told farmers at the Farm Progress Virtual Experience that they need a “change in mindset and production practices” to meet the recent shift in buying preferences.

“Millennials…are much more interested in how their food is produced, and that extends to the farm in transparency, in personalization, and convenience, all the way …through the entire supply chain,” Dallmier said.

A 2019 Nielsen study identified four most-desired traits: locally grown or sourced, no added sugar, GMO-free, and antibiotic-free. Certified organic products were present in 80% of U.S. households in 2018.

Protein and produce lead the organic and non-GMO demand—non-GMO egg sales and organic chicken were particularly strong. Consumers are willing to pay more for organic/all natural items, sustainable materials, and socially responsible claims.

Meeting consumer priorities will bring profits, Dallmier insists. FINBIN (Farm Financial Management Database) from the Midwest revealed a net annual increase of $186 per acre in switching to organic growing, over four years. Organic premiums for corn and soybeans remain significant, and are expected to hold steady for 2020-2021.

The mindset change is from huge farms to smaller, sustainable operations—from surviving on 3,000-5,000 acres to thriving on 300-500 acres.

“We all grew up thinking we were outstanding farmers, and we were successful because [we] produce 80-bushel beans,” Dallmier said. “Now we need to think… I’m successful because I net $200 an acre.”

Source: Farm Progress

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