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Measuring the consumer benefits of improving farm animal welfare to inform welfare labelling

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  • Kehlbacher, A.
  • Bennett, R.
  • Balcombe, K.

Abstract

Policy makers in the European Union are envisioning the introduction of a community farm animal welfare label which would allow consumers to align their consumption habits with their farm animal welfare preferences. For welfare labelling to be viable the market for livestock products produced to higher welfare standards has to be sufficiently segmented with consumers having sufficiently distinct and behaviourally consistent preferences. The present study investigates consumers’ preferences for meat produced to different welfare standards using a hypothetical welfare score. Data is obtained from a contingent valuation study carried out in Britain. The ordered probit model was estimated using Bayesian inference to obtain mean willingness to pay. We find decreasing marginal WTP as animal welfare levels increase and that people’s preferences for different levels of farm animal welfare are sufficiently differentiated making the introduction of a labelling scheme in the form of a certified rating system appear feasible.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 627-633

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:6:p:627-633

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

Related research

Keywords: Farm animal welfare; Labelling; Welfare score; Meat; Contingent valuation; Bayesian;

References

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  1. Giuseppe Nocella & Lionel Hubbard & Riccardo Scarpa, 2010. "Farm Animal Welfare, Consumer Willingness to Pay, and Trust: Results of a Cross-National Survey," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 275-297.
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  3. Welsh, Michael P. & Poe, Gregory L., 1998. "Elicitation Effects in Contingent Valuation: Comparisons to a Multiple Bounded Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 170-185, September.
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  6. DeShazo, J. R. & Fermo, German, 2002. "Designing Choice Sets for Stated Preference Methods: The Effects of Complexity on Choice Consistency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 123-143, July.
  7. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  8. Caswell, Julie A., 1998. "How Labeling Of Safety And Process Attributes Affects Markets For Food," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 27(2), October.
  9. Kelvin Balcombe & Aurelia Samuel & Iain Fraser, 2009. "Estimating WTP With Uncertainty Choice Contingent Valuation," Studies in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Kent 0921, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  10. Alberini, Anna & Boyle, Kevin & Welsh, Michael, 2003. "Analysis of contingent valuation data with multiple bids and response options allowing respondents to express uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 40-62, January.
  11. Wang, Hua, 1997. "Treatment of "Don't-Know" Responses in Contingent Valuation Surveys: A Random Valuation Model," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 219-232, February.
  12. Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & Kenneth Train, 2008. "Utility in Willingness to Pay Space: A Tool to Address Confounding Random Scale Effects in Destination Choice to the Alps," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(4), pages 994-1010.
  13. Scarpa, R. & Thiene, M. & Train, K., 2008. "Appendix to Utility in WTP space: a tool to address confounding random scale effects in destination choice to the Alps," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(4), November.
  14. Richard Bennett, 1995. "The Value Of Farm Animal Welfare," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 46-60.
  15. Mary F. Evans & Nicholas E. Flores & Kevin J. Boyle, 2003. "Multiple-Bounded Uncertainty Choice Data as Probabilistic Intentions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(4), pages 549-560.
  16. Richard C. Ready & Dayuan Hu, 1995. "Statistical Approaches to the Fat Tail Problem for Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(4), pages 491-499.
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  19. Carolina Liljenstolpe, 2008. "Evaluating animal welfare with choice experiments: an application to Swedish pig production," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 67-84.
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