9 October 2014

Before World Food Day

Survey: Germans like to donate most of all to fight hunger

  • Willingness to donate to global nutrition rather than to health and climate protection
  • Two thirds are confident that the significantly growing earth’s population can be fed
  • Large majority sees different consumer behaviour in industrial countries as an important contribution to solving the problem 
  • Little willingness to change one’s own behaviour
  • Modern and efficient agriculture, particularly in developing countries, is considered to be an important factor for global food security
  • A good 40 per cent also regard a better supply of nutrients to crops through fertilizers as being necessary

Germans like to donate most of all to fight global hunger. However, there is much less willingness to change one’s own behaviour. This was revealed in a representative survey carried out by the forsa polling institute, commissioned by the K+S resources company to mark World Food Day on 16 October.

Thirty-one per cent of those surveyed would be most likely to spend money on global nutrition and the fight against hunger. In terms of willingness to donate this issue is clearly ranked higher than health, education, research and climate protection.

Today K+S presented the results of the survey in Berlin in the margins of the “FUTURE FOOD FORUM” international conference organised by the Company, at which experts exchange information about questions regarding the future of global nutrition. In August 2014, forsa surveyed a total of 1,007 German citizens over the age of 18. It found that a large majority of those interviewed (82 per cent) were interested in global nutrition.

Over 800 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished. According to forecasts by demographers and international organisations, the world’s population will grow from today’s seven billion to up to ten billion people in 2050. “Having food secured is of great benefit, also from a macroeconomical point of view. Guaranteeing it is therefore worth considerable effort”, says K+S Board of Executive Directors Chairman Norbert Steiner. According to the survey, two thirds of Germans are convinced that food can be ensured for so many people, while 26 per cent were sceptical about this.

Survey results indicate the need for information

“The results of the survey are encouraging, because many citizens are aware of the enormous importance of fighting hunger in the world”, says Steiner. However, it also transpires that there are still information deficits. For instance, two thirds of those interviewed assume that the number of people facing hunger has increased in the past two decades. The facts are different: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the number has gone down by 200 million since the nineties. “This must be emphasised, and it must be made even clearer what a positive contribution agriculture and the supporting economy sectors can make”, says Steiner.

Majority of consumers do not change their buying behaviour

Although more than two thirds of those interviewed (68 per cent) believe that consumers in the industrial countries can contribute a lot or something to fight global hunger by changing their consumer behaviour, only a minority are prepared to actually change their own behaviour. Thus 33 per cent stated that the subject of world nutrition has an impact on their own buying and consumer behaviour.

Agriculture: Yes to large-scale operations and to dispensing with bioenergy

Larger agricultural operations in the developing countries (54 per cent) as well as dispensing with the use of food for bioenergy production (49 per cent) could, in the opinion of those interviewed, best contribute to an improvement in global nutrition. Forty-one per cent are of the opinion that a better provision of nutrients to plants with mineral fertilizers leads to an improvement in global nutrition. Forty-one per cent also see an expansion of ecological farming as contributing towards solving the problem. Those interviewed also expect an improvement in global nutrition more frequently than a worsening from more intensive plant protection.

The exchange of knowledge about modern agriculture and the use of new technologies can, according to respondents, help people in the developing countries to improve and increase agricultural production in their own land.


Further information on the “FUTURE FOOD FORUM” at www.future-food-forum.de.

About K+S

K+S is an international resources company. We have been mining and processing mineral raw materials for 125 years. The products we produce from them are used worldwide in agriculture, food and road safety and are important elements in numerous industrial processes. The nutrients potash and salt are accompanying the megatrend for the future: A constantly growing global population is becoming increasingly prosperous and striving for a more modern standard of living, which results in an increasing consumption of mineral raw materials. We serve the resulting growth in demand from production sites in Europe, North America and South America as well as through a global distribution network. K+S is the world’s largest salt producer and one of the top potash providers worldwide. With more than 14,000 employees, K+S achieved revenues in financial year 2013 of about € 4 billion and an EBIT of € 656 million. K+S is the commodities stock on the German DAX index. Learn more about K+S at www.k-plus-s.com.

Michael Wudonig


Phone: +49 561 9301 1262

Michael Wudonig

Bertha-von-Suttner Str. 7
34131 Kassel

Phone: +49 561 9301 1262
Fax: +49 561 9301 1666

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