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Welfare claims falling flat with consumers

New market research indicates that consumers are confused by animal welfare terms used on product labels.

20 March 2019, at 12:48p.m.

Market research, conducted by Oko and presented its director, by Simon Taylor, at the Winterbotham Darby Animal Health and Welfare Day, showed that phrases such as, "partially outdoors" and "indoor better welfare", meant very little to consumers.

On the other hand, "free range", "organic" and "pasture fed" were more commonly recognised and resonated best with consumers.

As reported by Food Manufacture, collaborative data from Oko and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) indicated that consumers are in favour of labelling products based on their production methods (85 percent of 262 consumers), but that communication needs to be "clear and simple" in order to make welfare part of the product-buying decision.

Though animal welfare is proving to be a growing part of consumer conversations, it can be overpowered by price and quality, especially if the labelling is not efficiently conveying its message on welfare. CIWF has petitioned a mandatory, six-tier, on-pack labelling scheme to Government which would remove the need for consumers to navigate the many certificate and assurance schemes currently labelled.