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Consumers want “Method of production” food labeling

This research was commissioned by Labelling Matters, a joint project of Compassion in World FarmingRSPCASoil Association and World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), formed to undertake comprehensive research regarding animal welfare-related food labelling in Europe.

The research was carried out in the UK, France and the Czech Republic and based on a total sample of 3,003 respondents. It found that 79% of consumers say that animal welfare is an important consideration when making food purchases.

While people mainly buy on the basis of price, taste and quality, animal welfare is an important influence for the majority of respondents in each country (UK: 79%, Czech Republic: 60%, France: 80%). Findings suggest that many consumers (particularly in France) see standards of animal welfare as a barometer for other important issues such as food quality, the health benefits, levels of nutrition and wider environmental considerations and that their attitudes towards method of production labelling are likely to be influenced by this.

The survey also investigated consumer support for the introduction of specific poultry meat labelling terms. A majority in each country said that they would be either ‘very likely’ or ‘quite likely’ to use this system. Those who felt that they had either ‘a reasonable knowledge’ or ‘a good knowledge’ of how farm animals are kept and reared were more likely than those who said that they only ‘know a little’ or ‘know a bit’ to say that they’d like to see this system introduced for labelling poultry meat. This was the case amongst respondents in the UK (72% and 53% respectively) and the Czech Republic (76% and 63% respectively) but not in France,where the difference was not statistically significant.

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In each country a quarter or more of those who said they didn’t want the proposed system of labelling poultry meat products introduced said they’d nevertheless be likely to use it, as did many of those who said that they ‘don’t mind’. This suggests that if introduced, the system is likely to have a wide appeal.

You can read more and download the full report on the Qa research website or read the coverage of the report.

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16 Jul 2013
Research trails