Seafood is in higher demand than ever before, with 82% of Americans adding salmon, shrimp and tilapia to their lunch and dinner plates. However, they won't settle for just any seafood. They want to know where it's coming from and that it was sourced responsibly, according to a June 2017 Cargill Feed4Thought consumer survey.
The survey, which polled more than 1,000 US residents, found that 72% of American consumers believe seafood is important to their health and nutrition. Eighty-eight% of those same consumers are willing to pay more for seafood that is certified as sustainably and responsibly sourced. This especially appeals to the younger generation, with 93% of millennials agreeing they are willing to pay more.
"The majority of American consumers believe seafood is important to their health and nutrition, but they also want to have peace of mind as to where it came from – and that's where we can play an integral role," said Einar Wathne, president, Cargill Aqua Nutrition. "We are committed to delivering healthy seafood for future generations, and we know we must do this in a way that is responsible and meets consumer preferences."
Cargill Aqua Nutrition produces feed for salmon, tilapia and shrimp in 18 countries and is dedicated to tailoring feed solutions to customers' needs. It has 38 specialized aquaculture feed facilities and three dedicated innovation centers for aquaculture, which together produced 1.74 million tons of aqua feed in 2016. Cargill Aqua Nutrition provides 2.7 billion seafood meals from its salmon feed alone.
To meet customer demand for the highest standard feed, Cargill Aqua Nutrition supplies feed that meets the requirements of a number of industry certifications. Cargill facilities in Canada and Chile hold both Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and GLOBAL Good Aquaculture Practice (GAP) certifications. Cargill plants in Scotland and Norway are Global GAP-certified, while factories in Honduras and Nicaragua are BAP-certified. Cargill Aqua Nutrition also supplies feed which meets the requirements of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), an organization focused on environmental and social responsibility in the farmed seafood supply chain. Cargill continues to work with ASC to develop feed standards for the future.
"It is important that the seafood industry earns consumer trust," said Avrim Lazar, convener of the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI). "That's why we work very hard to meet third party, rigorous certification standards. Consumers deserve independent assurance that the seafood they eat is sustainable and responsibly sourced."
Every year since 2010, Cargill's aqua nutrition business has also published a sustainability report, which follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and conveys important performance results against environmental and social indicators. The report highlights the strides Cargill Aqua Nutrition has made in sustainability and responsible sourcing.
Results from the survey were released at The Aquaculture Roundtable Series Aug. 16-17 in Bali, Indonesia, where Wathne was a keynote speaker. The survey also found:
Out of the five seafood options given, 47% of Americans prefer shrimp (the majority).
Eighty-four% of Americans trust that their seafood is sourced in a safe and responsible way.
Seventy percent of Americans say where and how their seafood is sourced impacts their purchase decision.