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Welfare-friendly food - it matters

by the Fish Site Editor
06 March 2007, at 12:00am

UK - It's official: when it comes to what you put in your shopping basket, animal welfare matters.

An independent report commissioned by the RSPCA's farm animal welfare assurance scheme, Freedom Food suggests that more than half of the population is buying at least one or two higher welfare products a week.

Quality and Safety

Launched at a special event attended by Ben Bradshaw, Minister for animal welfare, the report - Consumer Attitudes to Animal Welfare - produced by IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) said the increase is a result of growing concern for animal welfare standards, which shoppers associate with food quality and safety. This is partly as a result of high-profile scares such as bird flu, salmonella in eggs and BSE.

The report also highlighted that:
  • More than half of shoppers are not confident in the living conditions of farm animals
  • Overall, shoppers would prefer to have all food produced to higher welfare standards
  • People in the south-east and south-west are more likely to buy higher welfare foods

Freedom Food

These findings coincide with news of a record number of animals being reared under the Freedom Food scheme, which reflects the growing market for higher welfare foods.

"This is great news for farm animal welfare and we hope the number of animals under Freedom Food will continue to leap forward, as consumer demand rises," said Steven Tait, head of Freedom Food sales and marketing.

"It goes to show that people really do have the power to improve the lives of our farm animals through the food they buy."

Click Here to view a full copy of the report -Consumer Attitudes to Animal Welfare - (PDF) 76 pages.

the Fish Site Editor