Evolving Consumer Attitudes on Animal Welfare

SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 3:45-4:30PM

SPEAKER: Mike von Massow, Associate Professor, Food Agriculture & Resource Economics, University of Guelph

Canadian consumers are paying more attention to animal welfare as they make purchase decisions, particularly in food service settings. This relates both to the number of Canadians who are considering animal welfare but also the importance they place on it. Consumers who are not considering animal welfare in purchase decisions are not necessarily uninterested in animal welfare but, rather, may believe that conditions are currently not bad. While the importance of animal welfare is increasing for many consumers, understanding of animal production is not increasing at the same rate. The gap between understanding of production and concern for animal welfare creates considerable uncertainty with respect to consumer response and attitudes in the future.

Three Key Learnings:
1. Animal welfare is becoming more important in consumer purchase decisions.
2. Consumers do not have a good understanding of how their food is produced.
3. We expect animal welfare to continue to grow in importance for consumers.

Mike von Massow is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. He is the Research Director of the Longo’s Food Retail Innovation Laboratory and is a member of the Steering Committee for the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. Mike’s research focus is on consumer attitudes towards food and building sustainable food value chains.