Rabobank asked its Forum attendees if the rise of social media is causing them to adopt a different approach in their business. More than half of executives (51 percent) said the growing influence of social media is changing the way they handle brand and reputation management and business communications.  

Nine percent said it is driving changes in the way they handle vendor/customer/supply chain management. However, 37 percent said they are not making business changes in response to the increasing prominence of social media.  

"Social media has introduced a new and widely accessible communications platform to the media mix, and this has created both opportunities and risks for companies in the food industry.

For some parts of the industry, 'business as usual' may not work any longer as social media exercises its potential to be a catalyst for change. However, the social media phenomenon also offers the industry an opportunity to engage in direct discussions with consumers and other stakeholders, to address concerns, to educate, and to clarify fact from rumor or misinformation. 

One thing is certain, social media is changing the food business in North America."

What factor will most influence acceptance of GMOs?

While well-established in the U.S. market, GMOs in agriculture remain controversial in many parts of the world and have not had anywhere near the rates of adoption outside the U.S. 

Polled on the factors that would most encourage increased global uptake of GMO technology in agriculture over the next decade, 56 percent of respondents cited sustained high commodity prices. 

Others said that greater consumer acceptance (34 percent) will be key to higher adoption, but 7 percent said they believe GMO uptake will slow. Three percent said that improved intellectual property rights in developing markets will be the solution to make GMOs more acceptable among consumers and the food industry.