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, produced by Cargill, Minneapolis.

The survey, which polled more than 1,000 U.S. residents, found that 72% of American consumers believe seafood is important to their health and nutrition, while 88% 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 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," says 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 meets customer demand for sustainable, responsibly sourced feed
for salmon, tilapia and shrimp in 18 countries. It maintains 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.

Furthermore, Cargill facilities in Canada and Chile hold 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 that meets the requirements of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

"It is important that the seafood industry earns consumer trust," says Avrim Lazar, convener of the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), Canada. "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.

The survey also found:

  • Out of the five seafood options given, 47% of Americans prefer shrimp (the majority).
  • 84% of Americans trust that their seafood is sourced in a safe and responsible way.
  • 70% of Americans say where and how their seafood is sourced impacts their purchase decision.