Jul 14, 2017Ag, local foods get backing from Colorado consumers
It’s no secret that consumers have shown a preference for locally grown and produced foods over the last decade, and a recent survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), in collaboration with Colorado State University (CSU), about consumer attitudes toward agriculture reveals that preference has moved beyond a trend to a lifestyle for Coloradans.
Citing price and flavor as the two primary motivators for Coloradans to purchase and eat locally grown and produced foods, almost 85 percent agree that supporting local food systems is important, while 95 percent feel maintaining land and water in agricultural production is important. In addition, 90 percent believe agriculture is very important to the quality of life in Colorado.
“As agriculture becomes increasingly complex, and consumers become more interested in understanding where their food comes from, it’s important for us to understand public perceptions and to identify new opportunities to engage consumers in a two-way conversation about Colorado agriculture,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown.
According to the survey, consumers cited corn, peaches, melons, vegetables and cattle as the top five products they believe to be grown or raised in Colorado, while in reality cattle, dairy, corn, hay and wheat hold the top five spots.
This glimpse into consumer perception versus reality speaks to the success of the CDA and agriculture associations and trade groups working together with producers, ranchers and growers to brand Colorado-grown products like sweet corn, Rocky Ford cantaloupes, Western Slope peaches, Pueblo chiles and more. Additionally, these and other local foods have benefitted from the support of the CDA’s Colorado Proud program.
Colorado agriculture consistently ranks as one of the state’s top three leading industries, advancing the state’s economy and preserving natural land. In fact, with more than 34,000 farms encompassing nearly 32 million acres, agriculture is a vital part of Colorado – providing more than 173,000 jobs, contributing more than $40 billion to the state’s economy annually, and feeding the world with nearly $2 billion in exported products. Colorado ranks in the top10 nationally for production of a variety of agricultural products.
[INFOGRAPHIC] Infographic with survey highlights