Pessimistic Picture for Welfare Friendly Products in Spain01 September 2013
A study into the attitudes of retailers in Spain to animal welfare and welfare friendly products painted a pessimistic picture.
The study showed that between 2006 and 2011 consumer desire to buy welfare friendly products was declining.
The research team based at the Department of Animal Production and Food Science in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Zaragoza said that the reason for the decline in popularity was probably because of the contraction of the industry and because of the financial crisis.
The researchers GC Miranda-de la Lama , WS Sepúlveda , M Villarroel and GA María analyzed retailer attitude towards animal welfare in Spain, and how this attitude has changed over recent years between 2006-2011.
They found that retailers were concerned about animal welfare issues but a declining trend had been observed more recently.
This they said was probably due to the financial crisis.
The concern about animal welfare was affected by gender, with female retailers expressing a more positive attitude towards animal welfare issues than men.
The study team said that based on their experience, the retailers perceived that there was a low level of willingness among their customers to pay more for welfare friendly products.
And this fact was reflected in the sales of the welfare friendly products, which declined from 2006 to 2011.
They said the main reason for consumers to buy welfare friendly products, according to retailer perception, was organoleptic quality – taste, smell, texture and flavour - with improved welfare being second.
“The results obtained provide a pessimistic picture in relation to the current market positioning of welfare friendly products, which is probably a consequence of market contraction,” the researchers conclude.
The research paper from the team at the University of Zaragoza is published in the November issue of Meat Science.