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Sustainable Agriculture –
Farmers and
Society in Dialogue

Addressing Challenges Together | Latest Research Findings



How can German agriculture remain sustainable amidst environmental demands and economic pressure? What tasks should it fulfill in the future? And how do farmers and consumers relate to specific political objectives in this context?

These and other questions will be explored in the coming period with stakeholders, and our findings will be published here. The latest research results are presented at the beginning of this article. 

You can start our journey here.
February 14, 2024

 

Facts about the participation in the protests


February 8, 2024

Agricultural Transformation: Significant Challenges for All Stakeholders

Recent farmer protests have thrust major agricultural issues into the spotlight of politics and media. The question of the best future strategy for the agricultural industry has been looming, even prior to these protests.

We conducted surveys with 500 consumers and 200 farmers to explore the primary protest demands. The results reveal notable similarities between both groups, such as demands for the protection of regional agriculture and the withdrawal of planned tax increases. However, significant differences in perception and attitude emerge regarding demands for easing fertilization, pest control, animal husbandry, and protection against 'cheap imports'. The findings underscore the importance of political measures and highlight the relevance of products and services that assist farmers in achieving economic success under current conditions.


Many consumers are familiar with and support key demands of farmers, demonstrating a general sympathy for their concerns. Consensus prevails on the triggers for the protests, with the repeal of announced diesel and vehicle tax hikes universally perceived as the main objectives. Farmers and consumers also share a concern for the protection of regional agriculture.

However, divergences between consumers and farmers become evident in their perceptions of protest goals, particularly regarding demands for easing fertilization, pest control, and animal husbandry, which are crucial for farmers but seldom cited as protest targets by consumers.


 
Consumers consider demands for easing fertilization, pest control, and animal husbandry less justified, yet they support political calls to strengthen the protection of German farmers against international competition and the vested interests of trade.
On the other hand, when it comes to the demand for protection against 'cheap imports', consumers express openness to such regulations, while many farmers remain skeptical about the actual acceptance of such measures.

"Possibly, consumer responses reflect their fundamental political stance, whereas farmers assess the current purchasing behavior of many consumers. Often, the cheaper food option is chosen, even if it doesn't come from a local farmer."


Grischa Muchowski - Senior Research Consultant Produkt + Markt
For demands where farmers anticipate broader societal support, they also see the greatest likelihood of success. Apart from decisions on tax hikes, this applies to conditions that protect German farmers without affecting consumers' wallets or international trade agreements, such as origin labeling.
The results demonstrate an acceptance and agreement with many farmer demands, indicating a fundamental appreciation from consumers towards domestic agriculture and a willingness to improve the situation for farmers.

Simultaneously, the results clearly highlight associated political tasks, including defining and funding environmental and animal welfare standards and ensuring fair compensation for farmers. The protests have played a crucial role in bringing these important issues to the political agenda.

Regardless of political tasks, the results emphasize the importance of products and services that enable farmers to operate profitably while adhering to high-quality, environmental, and animal welfare standards. We currently observe promising developments in the market, such as digital technologies and Biologicals. However, perceived benefits and ultimately the acceptance of these products by farmers are still improvable.

These acceptance considerations are playing an increasingly important role in our everyday research. We are happy to develop specific solution strategies with you, so give us a call!

 
January 24, 2024

Basis for collective solutions: Consumers express understanding



Modern agriculture is confronted with formidable challenges. German farmers are expected to quickly and efficiently change their working methods to make our society more environmentally and climate friendly. At the same time, they must continue to produce high-quality food at affordable prices to remain internationally competitive.

While there are initial approaches for the future, such as digitalization in agriculture and the development of biologicals, the pressure on farmers is immense. Many feel caught between ever-changing political demands and the necessity to produce economically in the long term, as evidenced by the ongoing nationwide farmer protests.

Building a bridge between the expectations of society and consumers on one hand and the needs of farmers on the other seems more crucial than ever. As market researchers, we see our task in engaging with various interest groups to discuss the goals and conditions of agriculture in Germany. We aim to explore common interests and differences, facilitating the identification of targeted solutions based on this foundation.

Initially, we conducted a representative survey of over 500 consumers regarding the protests. The farmer protests are highly present in the population, with their underlying reasons being a significant societal concern. Furthermore, we surveyed n = 200 farmers. The acceptance of the protests among farmers is, as expected, even higher than among consumers. Their assessment of the probability of success aligns surprisingly well with that of the consumers.

The farmer protests are highly present in the population, with their underlying reasons being a significant societal concern.

 

Almost all respondents could spontaneously mention at least one goal that farmers aim to achieve with the protests. Both the current issue of subsidy cuts or tax increases and the general dissatisfaction of farmers with their current situation are cited by consumers as reasons.

However, the expectation that the farmers' demands will be met is somewhat restrained.

Still, it is evident that farmers' demands resonate well with society.


A path to concrete solutions involves discussing the tasks that agriculture should fulfill in the future and the measures required for that. More on this soon at this location...

Contact us with your questions, wishes, and ideas!


Would you like to have a personal conversation with us on the topic of "Sustainable Agriculture – Farmers and Society in Dialogue"? Then let's coordinate a suitable appointment for a one-on-one discussion. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited about our exchange.
 
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