Consumers Are Swayed by Animal Welfare Issues

Related terms:

Marketing to consumers must be factored into any animal agriculture policy and legislative fronts. The public exposure animal rights and animal welfare debates create also impact purchasing decisions by consumers.

Fighting ballot initiatives regarding the care and housing of farm/food animals might actually be poorly advised, according to a recent study by economists at Oklahoma State University. The analysis evaluated demand for eggs in selected California markets before and following the vote on the farm animal housing initiative -- Proposition 2, or "Prop 2" -- in 2008 in which California voters adopted Prop 2 by 66% of the vote.

Animal ag producers must understand the consumer market space and strategically think about how to approach ballot initiatives and new regulations.

"If this attention leads to undesirable consumer shifts in purchasing behaviors, industry stakeholders need to be cautious in developing strategies in response to ballot initiatives similar to Prop 2 in the future"

advises Glynn Tonsor, an agricultural economist at Kansas State University.