A recent survey out of Australia finds shoppers say they want humanely raised meat, and they’re willing to pay more for it, but actions prove otherwise.
The findings were presented by Dr. Tania Signal at the World Farm Animal Day symposium. Dr. Signal is a researcher at Central Queensland University.
Through a series of questions regarding animal welfare and meat available to consumers, the survey found people said animal welfare is an important issue they consider while grocery shopping and they’d pay between five and 10 percent more for meat they knew was raised humanely. The findings also showed most respondents failed to follow through on their claims at the point of purchase.
Signal also found consumers are most likely to trust an independent 3rd party label as opposed to some certification from the grocery store, government or the farm producing the meat.
Although participants in the survey said animal welfare was an important issue, Signal said there’s a knowledge gap they need to overcome. Her research found a disconnect in people’s understanding of modern livestock production and most were unaware of common animal handling practices.
“There’s a disconnect between people’s actual knowledge of modern day farm practices and what they think is going on,” Dr. Signal said. Consumers are affected by media perceptions of livestock production and perceptions of how animals are treated on the farm may not be reality. “People’s knowledge seems to be very sensationalized based on what they see in the media,” she added.
Signal emphasized the farmer’s role in educating consumers, stating education in a non-sensational way is key to changing public perceptions of their food.