Sustainable consumptionSustainability and animal welfare matter to German consumers

On the occasion of the International Green Week in Berlin the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) presented the results of two consumer studies, which dealt with the question of “How important is animal welfare for consumers?” and the overall importance of sustainable consumption.

With regard to the study on animal welfare the marketing consulting company Zühlsdorf + Partner, on behalf of the vzbv, conducted a representative online-survey with 1.024 participants in Germany between October and November 2015. Data on preferences for animal welfare and on the importance of adequate husbandry when consuming meat were collected. These are the survey’s main results:

  • Two thirds of respondents care more about the quality than the price when buying meat and would pay a price premium for meat products given that husbandry was animal-friendly. For instance, consumer would pay 58% more for meat that is labeled by the German Animal Welfare Association, for larger package sizes consumers accept price markups of up to 39%.
  • The low demand for ethically processed animal products partly results from general uncertainties and a lack of information and orientation of consumers: 45% of respondents do not know how to recognize meat from adequate husbandry and 86% are unable to name a label for animal welfare when asked.
  • Generally, two thirds of consumers regard animal welfare as important and 77% are in favor of stricter regulations for animal welfare. 

With regard to the second study, TNS Emnid conducted a population-representative survey on behalf of the vzbv in January 2016. The key results of the study are:

  • Two thirds of consumers are (always) willing to buy sustainable products when shopping groceries.  
  • Yet, 63% claim to not find sufficient information on the sustainable footprint of articles and 36% have difficulties in recognizing sustainable products.
  • Further, 55% criticize high prices and 44% the poor availability of sustainable food products.

Klaus Müller, director at vzbv, commented on the survey results as follows: “Consumers cannot shoulder all of the responsibility for more sustainable consumption when making their purchase decisions. If more sustainably produced goods shall be bought, then supply, prices and information must be consumer-friendly. (…) The protection of animals has its price and consumers are ready to pay this price. In return, consumers expect notable improvements in animal welfare. (…) We need a binding national label for animal welfare in order to create trust and to make it easier for consumers to buy meat from animal-friendly husbandry.”

More on information on animal welfare and the reportsustainable consumption and infographics

Source: vzbv