Organic farming has a new face—the millennial generation. While other older generations scoff at the thought of paying more for organic products and supporting only products made with environmental sustainability in mind, millennials are embracing it. They are at the forefront of the organic industry. They are reading and writing books about it. They are spreading information. They are transitioning to consuming only organic products. They are in the boardroom talking about the business of organic agriculture. And lastly, they are on the internet, advocating for organic food and products.
There is no specific definition of birth dates for this generation. Generally, those aged 22 to 38 years old this year are considered part of the millennial generation. There is a lot that has been said about this generation. They were the first generation to welcome the Internet Age. They were the first ones to use social media. And yet, they are products of Nintendo, baggy jeans, and pop music, too. They have witnessed the collapse of old systems and the ushering in of the new breed of well-informed and outspoken generation.
In terms of organic farming, millennials are very much informed, motivated, and connected. They take action. They take to the streets to demand accountability from governments and institutions. They support only companies that practice sustainability. They teach their kids the same—using only reusable cups for their Starbucks coffee and trying to eat as healthy as possible.
This generation is fast becoming the most educated generation. This year, they will make up half of the US workforce as more and more Baby Boomers are saying goodbye to their careers and retiring. Do you know that the Baby Boomers are the generation that shares fake news on social media? Millennials don’t do that sort. They grew up learning to share the right information on the internet. They are aware of the increasing challenges of misinformation.
According to surveys, more than 52% of millennials are organic buyers. Generation X parents (those born between 1965 and 1980) are 35% organic buyers while only 14% of Baby Boomers are buying organic.
Since millennials are now the head of the household, they are buying more consciously. They are changing the landscape of the food industry by consuming more organic products than the previous generations. They now place a greater value on how their food is being grown and how the companies making their food are treating the environment.
This responsibility is trickling down to the next generation, the Gen Z (mid to late 1990s), who will hopefully follow in the footsteps of their parents in supporting organic farming.