Consumer Perceptions Of Farm Animal Welfare
This brief report summaries surveys and studies that address consumer attitudes toward farm animal welfare, focusing specifically on the “humanely raised” label. It finds three major themes regarding consumers: U.S. consumers care about farm animal welfare, they support regulating the welfare of farmed animals, and they will pay more for products labeled “humanely raised.” The report finds two key themes regarding labeling: the “humanely raised” label has weight with consumers while some other labels, such as “natural,” are confusing to consumers.
The report comes to five general conclusions. First, U.S. consumers care about how farm animals are raised. Several studies find that consumers consider how their food was produced while shopping. Second, U.S. consumers support regulating farm animal care; various studies find that consumers care about animal welfare and other studies find that people support government mandates to regulate how animals are treated as well as the amount of information consumers are given about the welfare of food animals.
Labels are found to be important as well. This report finds research which supports that “humanely raised” is a valuable food claim, with consumers interpreting the label as an indication that animals were treated better than the industry standard. However, some labels, particularly that of “natural,” are confusing to consumers. Finally, the report finds support that U.S. consumers will pay more for “humanely raised” meat.