Consumer sentiment towards sustainability reveals an increasing demand for food products that are created with ingredients that have minimal environmental impact. A recent survey of 1,000 adults reveals 66% of Americans are willing to pay more for sustainable products as compared to their less sustainable competitors. The interesting fact of note here is 80% of these consumers are between the ages of 18-34.
Sustainable food production aims to maintain a high standard of environmental and social responsibility to eliminate the negative impacts caused by industrialization. Sustainable methods maintain and regenerate agroecosystems, avoid toxins that damage human and environmental health and respect planetary boundaries. Instead of prioritizing profit for agribusiness firms, sustainable farming prioritizes societal wellbeing by fairly compensating food system workers and empowering farming communities. Sustainable food production focuses on restructuring agriculture to return farm profits and control of production methods to the farmers. Sustainable farming methods prevent environmental degradation contributing to the reduction of diseases, hunger, displacement and conflict. Maintaining natural health and productivity of the farmland and preserving natural resources like clean air and fresh water helps secure the well-being of urban and rural population.
USA Sunflower Oil is a sustainable choice for food innovations. Sunflower crops have deep tap roots that help break up the layers of the soil and help make sunflowers drought resistant. They need a lot less water than many other crops. Approximately 1.3 million acres of oil type sunflowers are planted each year in the USA. The no-till process used to grow sunflowers decreases soil erosion and helps keep moisture in the soil. No-till management of sunflower crops also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sunflower production ranks high on an energy efficiency scale for soil conservation, low energy and fuel usage. Sunflowers capture carbon dioxide from the air and as a result this leads to significant greenhouse gas emission savings.
Consumers are looking for non-GMO products, lower saturated fat foods and foods that meet dietary restrictions whether that is Vegan, Kosher or Halal. Sunflower oil is non-GMO, since sunflower seeds are grown using traditional breeding techniques. It is one of the few oils used in food manufacturing that is non-GMO. Sunflower oil is also Kosher and Halal which is beneficial for the creation of many specialty foods. It has a very neutral taste allowing the true flavors of the ingredients in your product to come through. This makes sunflower oil ideal for a wide variety of applications including healthy snacks, non-dairy beverages, sauces and spreads and even bakery products such as cookies, crackers and artisanal breads.
With consumers looking for transparency in the ingredients used in their food products and actively seeking sustainable products, it is the right time to switch to sunflower oil. To learn more about sunflower oil’s journey from field to customer and the sustainable practices download this factsheet.