MINNEAPOLIS – Consumers don’t plan to stop eating meat, fish and eggs anytime soon, according to a recent consumer survey conducted by Cargill Animal Nutrition. The Feed4Thought survey showed that more than two-thirds of respondents plan to maintain or increase their consumption of animal protein in the next year.

Cargill’s Feed4Thought survey explores perceptions and opinions about current topics in the animal protein supply chain. The online survey for Cargill Animal Nutrition was conducted by ORC International in March and polled a demographically representative sample of 4,000 adults, in the US, Brazil, the Netherlands and Vietnam.

“We’re pleased consumers see animal protein as an important part of a healthy diet,” said Chuck Warta, president of Cargill’s premix and nutrition business. “Dietary guidance consistently emphasizes the benefits of adequate protein intake from a variety of sources. Our aim is to help our livestock, poultry and aquaculture customers meet the growing global demand for protein in the most healthy, productive and sustainable way possible.”

In the Feed4Thought survey, Cargill found 93 percent of respondents said they care about the industry’s ability to feed the world sustainably, with 84 percent saying that it impacts what they buy. In fact, 80 percent of those surveyed say meat can be part of an environmentally responsible diet and 93 percent say meat can play an important role in a healthy diet.

When asked who bears most responsibility for ensuring food production is sustainable, almost one-third of participants selected food and feed manufacturers as their top choice, according to Cargill. Governments came in second (25 percent) and then consumers (20 percent) via the foods they eat.

Cargill recently partnered with Heifer International to launch Hatching Hope, an initiative aimed at improving the nutrition and livelihoods of 100 million people by 2030. The program involves training poultry farmers and providing nutrition education for their communities.

“Access to poultry meat and eggs can rapidly improve people’s diets and have a major impact on their lives,” said Pierre Ferrari, president and CEO of Heifer International. “We’re investing in smart, resourceful women farmers, working with them to improve their products, access new markets and build sustainable businesses that generate living incomes.”

Cargill is also doing its part to take on the responsibility of ensuring sustainable food production with additional programs such as its Nature Conservancy-Nestle Purina-Cargill initiative to help US farmers conserve irrigation water. The three-year water project was designed to improve the sustainability of the beef supply chain.

“One of the least told but most significant stories in agriculture today is the incredible progress we are making in helping farmers do more with less,” Warta said. “All of us in agriculture want to raise our productivity and efficiency — not just so we can operate our businesses more profitably, but so we can steward resources for the next generation who will take over someday.”