A spokesman for the organization that represents U.S. food retailers says more consumers are identifying “humane treatment of farm animals” as one of their food-buying concerns.
“In looking at some of the (survey) data, we’ve found that it jumped about seven percent—so it’s a growing concern,” says David Fikes of the Food Marketing Institute. “Most other concerns were growing about three percent, but humane treatment of animals was one that was getting a little bit more attention in consumer attitudes.”
Fikes says most consumers just want some reassurance that animals are being treated humanely. “Most of them want to believe that the animal had a good, stress-free life and a very peaceful death in preparing it for the plate,” he says.
But Fikes says cost, convenience and taste continue, by far, to be the biggest factors behind consumer food purchases. Fikes was a presenter at a beef cattle welfare symposium in Ames, Iowa.