Good Welfare Costs Less Than A Box Of Chocolates

UK - Consumers believe better farm animal welfare would cost them too much, according to a recent survey but Freedom Foods says the additional cost is the same as just one treat in the shopping basket.
calendar icon 27 July 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

High price perception is main barrier to high welfare, according to RSPCA Freedom Foods. A bottle of wine, a DVD or a box of chocolates are just some of the treats we Brits indulge in every week but when it comes to the price of higher welfare food it seems many of us think that is too expensive.

In a new survey to mark Farm Animal Week, 70 per cent of UK adults cited cost as being a reason for not buying more higher welfare food – such as Freedom Food, free-range and organic.

However according to the RSPCA's Freedom Food scheme, the actual cost of a basket of higher welfare food can be as little as just over £5 more than the cost of a non-higher welfare basket containing similar products – less than the price of a box of chocolates. The majority (67 per cent) of people surveyed thought the price difference would be significantly more, at £7 more (41 per cent) or £15 more (26 per cent).

Celebrity chef and farm animal welfare supporter, Antony Worrall Thompson, agrees that price perception can be a major barrier to buying higher welfare.

This news follows a recent consumer survey from IGD, the food and grocery research body, that found that animal welfare standards have risen up the list of priorities for shoppers when choosing food and grocery products. In January 2010, 19 per cent of shoppers said that animal welfare standards influenced their shopping decisions, compared with just 10 per cent in 2006.

He said: "I often meet people that just assume higher welfare food means a much higher cost, and simply rule out these labels without even checking the price. But as this survey shows, good welfare doesn't always have to cost as much as you might think.

"A higher welfare chicken, such as Freedom Food, can cost just 86p more than a standard one – that’s less than the price of a lottery ticket. A small price to pay for good farm animal welfare."

The survey also revealed that 38 per cent of UK adults would be prepared to give up one of their regular treats – such as lottery tickets, a bottle of wine or a take-away – and spend the money instead on higher welfare food.

In response to this news Freedom Food is urging people during Farm Animal Week to switch one item in their trolley for a higher welfare alternative.

Freedom Food spokesperson, Liam Kurzeja, explains: "It's a really simple message. We want people to spare a thought for farm animals when they are shopping this week and 'Switch one for Welfare'. Many of us have already stopped buying eggs from hens kept in battery cages, choosing barn or free-range instead. We would like people to go one step further and look for the higher welfare Freedom Food logo on products like pork, chicken and salmon.

"And if you are eating out, don't forget many pubs and restaurants now offer higher welfare food - you can find many that do on our 'Simply Ask' restaurant finder."

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