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ASTA Unveils New Research

By Julie Deering 

Today, the American Seed Trade Association unveiled the results of a new survey that focused on consumer perception around seed and seed improvement.

“The agriculture industry recognizes the significance of seed innovations and that many things which improve the quality of our lives can be traced back to the seed,” said Andy LaVigne, ASTA president and CEO. “But when we reach beyond the agricultural community, we realize we have work to do in educating people about the value of seed and seed improvements. Our research results revealed that the work of the seed industry is generally undervalued among educated consumers. Yet, those same consumers believe that the role of technology in agriculture is important and vital.”

Lavigne explained that when time was spent with the consumers surveyed and additional information shared regarding the specific benefits seed improvements, consumers began to show increased appreciation in understanding the impact of seed improvements and innovation.

As part of the survey process, consumer were told that seed improvements can do some of the following:

  • They can allow farmers to grow a wider variety of foods, giving consumers more choices and more convenience.
  • They allow farmers to more conveniently produce food, which enables U.S. families to spend far less of their income on food than in other countries.
  • Also, they allow for less food waste, which is a big issue in our economy today.
  • They allow for greater energy security through the production of renewable fuels, made from agricultural crops.
  • They work to protect the environment with less soil erosion, less water use, reduced pesticide use and the development of plants that are ideal for restoring land back to its natural habitat.

“With this new information, our consumer audience agreed that the benefits of seed improvement help all of the public,” Lavigne said. “We found that total positive impressions across all consumer groups increased and with impressive numbers.”

The survey target millennials, moms and foodies. Among those groups, positive impressions increased by 18 percent, 13 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

“These are all extremely encouraging results as we move forward with our messaging,” LaVigne said. “As one of the oldest trade associations in the country, ASTA is uniquely positioned to help educate consumers about seed improvements that are providing an increase in solutions among increasing demands on food, feed, fuel and fiber by growing more.”

To build upon the survey results, LaVigne announced that ASTA will undertake a three-year communications effort to reach consumers about the importance of seed improvement. “Our hope is to increase awareness among consumers about the diversity of the seed industry, about the value of the crops that are grown from our seeds and the food that is produced from the seed, and the impact that it has on our daily lives now and into the future,” Lavigne said.

The original article published on Seed World can be found here