Consumer trust and willingness to pay for certified animal-friendly products
Increasing animal welfare standards requires changes along the supply chain which involve several stakeholders: scientists, farmers and people involved in transportation and slaughtering. The majority of researchers agree that compliance with these standards increases costs along the livestock value chain, especially for monitoring and certifying animal-friendly products. Knowledge of consumer willingness to pay (WTP) in such a decision context is paramount to understanding the magnitude of market incentives necessary to compensate all involved stakeholders. The market outcome of certification programs is dependent on consumer trust. Particularly, there is a need to understand to what extent consumers believe that stakeholders operating in the animal-friendly supply chain will respect certification standards. We examine these issues using a contingent valuation survey administered in five economically dominant EU countries. The implied WTP estimates are found to be sensitive to robust measures of consumer trust for certified animal-friendly products. Significant differences across countries are discussed.
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