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Cost of living crisis prevents consumers from sustainable food shopping

Varda, the agtech startup founded by Yara, today announced the results of its recent survey on consumer attitudes towards food supply chains.


The research, which was based on responses from 1,000 consumers in the UK, found that 88% do consider where their food comes from, but only 29% are willing to pay more for food that is sustainably sourced.


Sixty-three percent of consumers surveyed see themselves as sustainably aware, with 70% concerned about the future of our food supply. Almost half (46%) said they would choose a sustainably sourced product, and almost half (48%) would consider the environmental impact of buying certain foods that have a high carbon footprint.


Cost of living hits hard


The results showcased that the cost of living crisis has significantly impacted consumers in the past six months, with 100% noting rising food costs. This has affected the food choices and shopping habits of 89% of respondents.


A limited budget was the primary factor in consumers being unable to access sustainably sourced foods, with only 29% of people willing to pay more for sustainable items, despite the commitment towards making more sustainable choices. If they were to buy greener items, 86% of those surveyed would only pay up to 25% more for them.


Dietary choices


When it comes to whether consumers are willing to alter their dietary choices, 58% are not currently making adjustments to their eating habits to benefit the environment. However, when it came to the environmental impact of the production of food, 71% said they would alter their diet moving forward to reduce this.


“Ultimately, these results highlight that sustainability is like a glass that is both half full and half empty. While there has been some progress made when it comes to creating a future food supply that is less environmentally impacting, there are clearly major concerns when it comes to the accessibility of greener food choices,” said Davide Ceper, CEO at Varda.


He continued, “There is still a long way to go to preserve our future, that depends on a healthy and thriving natural capital. Whether this is through finding ways to calculate the externalities of  foods, or implementing technology to drive sustainable farming practices, we need to push global collaboration to ensure that we consistently meet our sustainability targets and make tangible changes. Awareness has passed; we now need action.”


To help tackle these issues, Varda is encouraging the transition to a nature-positive food system and regenerative farming by enhancing interoperability and transparency across the food value chain. Varda’s Global FieldID™ aims to establish a shared geospatial reference framework that encompasses the entire agriculture industry. This “QR code for fields” aims to enhance collaboration in the supply chain for stakeholders to exchange data across the agricultural sector.


Varda’s Global FieldID™ service is currently available in France, the Netherlands and the UK, and will be released in Brazil, the US and key European agricultural markets in 2023.

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Survey shows that 88% of consumers consider where their food comes from, but only 29% are willing to pay more for food that is sustainably sourced. This news comes as 100% of respondents notice the impact of the cost of living crisis and rising food prices

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