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Study: Understanding Food Retailers’ Animal ‘Welfare’ Labels

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The study showed that two-thirds of those surveyed thought that claims like 'free range' and 'cage-free' guaranteed better treatment for farm animals more than they actually do.

ASPCA: ‘Despite this confusion over label meanings, retailer interest in stocking higher welfare products seems to be mirroring consumers’ elevated awareness and desire for such products. A recent survey showed that about three-quarters of consumers are studying labels related to animal welfare more than they were just five years earlier, looking for reassurance about how farm animals were treated. Yet two-thirds of those surveyed also thought that claims like “free range” and “cage-free” guaranteed better treatment for farm animals than they actually do…

The projected path for animal welfare-related products could follow that of organic products, with increasing awareness creating a strong burst of consumer demand, pushing these products to the forefront of retailer and supplier plans. Yet retailers must be educated on the differences between unverified and loosely defined claims and the verified certifications on the market, in order to avoid losing concerned consumers’ trust. Consumers can also play a role by learning more about the labels on the products they buy and requesting verified products at stores’. SOURCE…

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