Results of a recent survey of grocery and restaurant executives signals an opportunity for the supply chain to provide retailers better support and alignment to address challenging issues in animal agriculture.

Conducted by the Center for Food Integrity (CFI), the survey asked questions of QSR and procurement managers from 10 leading food industry retailers, including Walmart, McDonalds, Burger King, Marsh Supermarkets, Bob Evans, Giant Eagle, Wakefern Food Corp., Sodexo, Inc., Brinker International and Harris Teeter.

Using quantitative and qualitative methods, conducted both by phone and online, the survey was intended to provide feedback and stimulate discussion in an effort to improve supply chain alignment on critical issues facing animal agriculture.

Specifically regarding meat, milk and eggs, each respondent was asked for their thoughts regarding practices “on farm” and “during processing” that result in safe food; humane treatment of animals; sustainable protection of natural resources and; the nutrition of products. Further, the survey asked about their thoughts on the safety of food derived from animals treated with antibiotics; animals treated with hormones and; foods using biotechnology in their production.

Responses to each of those questions showed a significant need for additional, fact-based information about these issues, created to support retailers and restaurateurs.

“I see it in our stores. People are examining labels. I find myself doing it too. Consumers want to know what’s in their food,” said one survey respondent, noting that animal agriculture can provide that support. “We need to help them with positive information on why they can trust what they’re buying from us.”

“This research illustrates a significant opportunity for those in animal agriculture to provide greater coordination and communication to help improve supply chain alignment and serve as a resource for retailers on challenging issues,” says Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity. “Retailers can then serve as a direct point-of-contact, providing consumers the information they need to make informed choices.”