Monday, December 15, 2014

Connecting Farmers, Consumers May Shift the Landscape of U.S. Food Debates

Bayer CropScience urges farmers to “be seen and heard” on food production practices, show importance of innovation to food safety and security
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Bayer CropScience
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (December 15, 2014) –  More than half of American consumers would like to talk to a farmer even though the  vast majority  – 94 percent – indicated in a recent survey sponsored by Bayer CropScience that they have no connection with agriculture or farming. Consumers trust farmers by far more than scientists, nutritionists, government agencies, companies engaged in farming or agriculture, even social media contacts outside agriculture.

Consumers also show strong support (73 percent) for the use of technology and farming techniques needed to keep the American food supply consistent and affordable and to help farmers be more efficient in growing crops. The survey indicated consumers generally are more willing to accept new technologies in agriculture when they are discussed in an open, transparent manner.  

“Consumers desire the benefits of modern agriculture technology, but they remain apprehensive of it,” said Jim Blome, Bayer CropScience LP president and and head of crop protection for North America. “Farmers can help bridge that gap.
 
“U.S. farmers always have focused on doing their job: raising crops to feed their communities and beyond,ˮ Blome said. “Now, with the rapid pace of change in agricultural technologies, they are hearing from concerned consumers who don’t understand how and why modern agriculture is evolving. It’s more important than ever for consumers and farmers to connect so that we can move hot-button food and agriculture topics forward and free the agriculture industry to innovate for the future.ˮ

Blome noted that a number of farmers and farm organizations already are connecting with consumers via social media, including AgChat Foundation events, and with on-farm visits sponsored by groups such as the the Kansas Farm Food Connection. Bayer also is reaching out to consumers in a number of ways, from highlighting their stories on its unique Bayer Connect online social hub, to sponsoring bloggers at the 2014 BlogHer conference and its new Farming’s Future Dialogues platform.

“Bayer CropScience is committed to bettering the lives of everyone,” said Blome. “We use ‘Science for a Better Life’ to develop innovations in agriculture that allow farmers to produce more food with less. It’s important for us—and the farmers who use our products—to operate our businesses in a transparent manner that supports consumers’ trust.”

Watch: Bayer CEO Jim Blome discusses research findings.


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Bayer CropScience is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer CropScience representative, or visit Bayer CropScience online at www.bayercropscience.us.


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About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,819 million (2013) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 22,400 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.

Contact:
Bayer CropScience Media Hotline, 1-862-404-5118, or

Jeff Donald
External Communications Manager
Bayer CropScience
Tel: (919) 518-4234
Email: jeffrey.donald@bayer.com


Jenell Loschke
Charleston|Orwig
Tel: (262) 957-6031
Email: jloschke@charlestonorwig.com


Find more information at www.bayercropscience.us.

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