Securing the Future of the Farm

The long-term survival of the farm itself is of concern to next-gen farmers and consumers — with eight in ten agreeing that it will be more difficult for farmers to make a living in the future.

Perhaps even more disturbing is that 70% of consumers and 57% of farmers agree that in the future, smaller, family-owned farms will no longer exist.

It Will Be Difficult for Farmers to Make a Living in the Future

Furthermore, both groups worry that farming will be unable to keep up with rapidly changing consumer demands for food — although consumers are significantly more likely than farmers to feel this way.

However, next-gen farmers and consumers believe that they can act to help protect the future of farming. They see more engagement and innovation as being essential to this effort, with over 90% agreeing that now is the time to develop innovative ways of taking on the challenges facing farming, and also agreeing that consumers need to become more involved in deciding how their food is farmed.

Consumers Need to Be More Involved in How Their Food Is Farmed

When thinking about the issues they would most like to see farmers and consumers coming together to solve, both groups rated as most important the sustainability of farms — defined as helping farms adopt more environmentally friendly practices while still staying financially viable. Farmers across all markets rated “securing the viability of farms over time” as the second most important issue.

“Farmers must be more open. They have to find a platform where they can talk about their problems. Consumers have to support farmers by buying their products and trying to learn more about them.”

Consumer, Russia

Detailed findings

The long-term integrity of the farm itself is also of great concern to both groups. At least eight in ten of all respondents agree that it will be more difficult for farmers to make a living in the future, and most young consumers and over half of young farmers agree that in the future, smaller, family-owned farms will no longer exist.

Furthermore, both groups worry that farming won’t be able to keep up with changes in consumer demands for food — although consumers are significantly more likely than farmers to feel this way, especially in China, Russia and the US.

Both groups are in alignment about the consumer trends they think are most likely to stay/become mainstream in the future, putting organically grown food, pesticide-free food, eco-conscious packaging, nutrient-enriched food and plant-based proteins at the top of the list.

Most of these trends are likely to impact what is farmed and how, and also the ability of farms to adjust to meet market demands.

Next-gen farmers and consumers believe the future of farms can be secured, and they are strongly supportive of applying ingenuity and engagement to achieve this goal. Over 90% agree that now is the time to develop innovative ways of taking on the challenges facing farming in the future, and a significant majority agree that consumers need to be more involved in how their food is farmed.

When thinking about the problems they would most like to see farmers and consumers coming together to solve, both groups rated as most important the sustainability of farms — defined as helping farms adopt more environmentally friendly practices while staying financially viable.

Farmers across all markets rated “securing the viability of farms over time” as the second most important issue they want farmers and consumers to come together to solve. This was especially strongly felt among farmers in the US and Russia.

However, this item was only rated sixth by consumers overall, falling behind issues like protecting the environment and health by minimising the use of pesticides, and shortening the supply chain between farmers and consumers.


Corteva Agriscience was launched in 2019 with the goal of enriching the lives of those who produce and those who consume — for generations to come. This commitment to the future has put Corteva at the forefront of shaping the next generation of agriculture. To better understand those who will be centrally responsible for the future of farms and food in the next 20 years, Corteva worked with independent research company Kantar to take the pulse of Gen Z and millennial (“nextgen”) farmers and consumers across five countries — Brazil, China, France, Russia and the US.

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