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The Effect of Steps to Promote Higher Levels of Farm Animal Welfare across the EU. Societal versus Animal Scientists’ Perceptions of Animal Welfare
Animals 2013, 3(3), 808-829; doi:10.3390/ani3030808
Article

The European Market for Animal-Friendly Products in a Societal Context

1,* , 2
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1 Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN, Wageningen, The Netherlands 2 Department of Agricultural Economics and Food Marketing, The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK 3 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University St. Cyril and Methodius, Lazar Pop-Trajkov 5-7, Skopje, Macedonia 4 Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands 5 Department of Economics, Research Centre for Animal Production, Corso Garibaldi, 42-Reggio Emilia, Italy 6 Socio-Economics, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ackerstrasse CH-5070, Frick, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2013 / Revised: 8 August 2013 / Accepted: 8 August 2013 / Published: 14 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare)
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Simple Summary: This article takes a future focus on the direction in which social forces develop the market for animal-friendly products in Europe. Although many stakeholders believe that the market is the most viable direction to improve farm animal welfare, economic productivity of the chain remains an issue that on a fundamental level conflicts with the objective to improve animal welfare. The European market for animal-friendly products is still largely fragmented and the differences between European countries are considerable. A more animal-friendly future that is achieved through the market will therefore need substantial policy attention from stakeholders in society.

Abstract

This article takes a future focus on the direction in which social forces develop the market for animal-friendly products in Europe. On the basis of qualitative data gathered in the context of the European EconWelfare project, the differences across eight European countries are studied. The findings suggest that, given international trade barriers that prevent an improvement of animal welfare through legislation, many stakeholders believe that the market is the most viable direction to improve farm animal welfare. Economic productivity of the chain remains, however, an issue that on a fundamental level conflicts with the objective to improve animal welfare. With the help of a deeper conceptual understanding of willingness to pay for animal welfare, the paper finds that the European market for animal-friendly products is still largely fragmented and that the differences between European countries are considerable. A more animal-friendly future that is achieved through the market will therefore need substantial policy attention from stakeholders in society.
Keywords: animal welfare; market; European Union; society; state; civil society animal welfare; market; European Union; society; state; civil society
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ingenbleek, P.T.M.; Harvey, D.; Ilieski, V.; Immink, V.M.; de Roest, K.; Schmid, O. The European Market for Animal-Friendly Products in a Societal Context. Animals 2013, 3, 808-829.

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