Survey: Consumers Want Food Suppliers to be Audited for Animal Welfare Standards


Spend Matters reports that a new survey  of U.S. consumers shows shoppers want food suppliers to be audited by independent third parties to ensure animals are humanely cared for. The survey, conducted on behalf of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was supposed to provide insight for food companies and retailers on the increasing demands of consumers today and their growing desire to buy sustainable, ethical food products.

Lake Research Partners carried out an online survey of 1,000 adult U.S. consumers and reported that seventy-eight percent of survey participants said they believe an objective inspector should be checking on the welfare of animals on farms and certify that they are being treated humanely.

According to the survey, consumers also are interested in having more welfare-certified products available at grocery stores and said they would be willing to pay more for products that meet a higher standard of animal welfare.  Seventy-five percent of survey participants said they specifically wanted stores to carry more welfare-certified eggs, meat and dairy products. Additionally, 67{75e25ebeb47fb4337942be2c10689dca1c292c2a66240b62c5ca4214f5b25ecc} said they would purchase welfare-certified products even if the price of the product were modestly higher. When dining out, the majority of consumers said they would pay up to $5 more an entree if the food contained welfare-certified animal products.

Northern Ag Network Note:  Just a week ago, it was reported that consumers are backing away from the higher-priced cage free eggs and the sluggish sales reportedly are making producers hesitate to invest in cage-free systems at this time.  So while there may be a certain segment of the population that is willing to pay a premium for welfare-certified animal products, we have doubts to it being “the majority of consumers”.  

This report by ASPCA also comes on the heels of the proposed rule changes to the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service's National Organic Program that wants to add animal welfare practice requirements as part of the organic label certification.  The National Cattlemen's Beef Association has submitted comments against these changes saying “there is concern that setting welfare standards through the National Organic Program proposed rule will mislead consumers and support standards that do not have a basis in science. “

Source:  Northern Ag Network, Spend Matters, National Cattlemen's Beef Association



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