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Education Key to Consumer Appreciation of Seed and Seed Improvement

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) today announced a
three-year communications effort to educate consumers. The goal is to
reach beyond the seed industry to educate the general public about the
role of seed and seed improvement in our lives.

commissioned a survey and found consumers underappreciate the role of
seed until they are presented with specific examples of the
environmental, economic, and health benefits of seed.

than 600 moms, millennials, and “food-focused” people were surveyed.
These three consumer segments are recognized for driving conversation
around food issues and have significant purchasing power – to measure
consumer awareness regarding the role seed innovation plays in improving
quality of life.

“The agricultural industry recognizes the
significance of seed innovations and that many of the things that
improve our quality of life can be traced back to a seed,” said ASTA
president and CEO Andy LaVigne. “But, when we reach beyond the industry,
we realize we have work to do in educating people about the value of
seed and seed improvement.”

“To support the good work of our
member companies, we are launching a three-year communications effort to
reach consumers about the importance of seed improvement,” said John
Schoenecker, ASTA Board Chair. “Our hope is to increase awareness among
consumers about the diversity of the seed industry, the value of crops
and food produced from improved seed and the impact it has on their
daily lives now and into the future.”

According to LaVigne,
research results revealed that the work of the seed industry is
generally undervalued among educated consumers. Yet three in four
educated consumers believe that the role of technology in agriculture is

However, when the same groups were provided
additional information regarding the specific benefits of seed
improvement, they began to show appreciation and a greater understanding
of the impact of seed innovation. Specifically, survey respondents were
provided examples of seed improvements in areas of food, feed, fuel and
fiber. Total positive impressions among millennials increased by 18%,
total positive impressions among moms increased by 13% and total
positive impressions among foodies increased by 16%, shared LaVigne.
“These results are extremely encouraging,” said LaVigne.

also provided topline results highlighting seed improvements and
associated benefits that had the most resonance across the three
consumer groups. Below are the results.

  • Seed improvements allow farmers to produce more food from the same land. 76% of overall consumers viewed positively.
  • Seed improvements result in foods that are healthier and provide better nutrition. 70% of overall consumers viewed positively.
  • Seed
    improvements allow family farmers to sustain their way of life for
    generations to come. 69% of overall consumers viewed positively.

conjunction with its new data and educational announcement, ASTA shared
a video highlighting how seed is creating better life. ASTA plans to
unveil its new communications efforts during its 132nd Annual Convention
to be held in Washington, D.C., June 17–20, 2015.

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