Willingness-to-pay for reduced carbon footprint and other sustainability concerns relating to pork production
Denver, S., Christensen, T., Lund, T. B., Olsen, J. V., & Sandøe, P. (2023).
Livestock Science. Elsevier
Full title: Willingness-to-pay for reduced carbon footprint and other sustainability concerns relating to pork production – A comparison of consumers in China, Denmark, Germany and the UK
There is growing societal concern about the impact of animal production on climate and other dimensions of sustainability. Continuing development of production in response to this will require the industry to know how much consumers are willing to pay for more sustainable pork, and how they prioritize different sustainability dimensions.
In this 2022 questionnaire-based study, we investigated willingness-to-pay for more sustainable pork among consumers in Denmark, Germany, the UK and Shanghai, China. We examined how respondents prioritised lower climate impact in comparison with four other dimensions of sustainability: improved animal welfare, decreased use of antibiotics, freedom from Salmonella and other harmful bacteria, and the avoidance of rain forest depletion in the production of pig-feed.
While many respondents were found to be willing to pay a price premium for more sustainable pork, only 10% (approx.) were prepared to pay more than a 20% premium. In all four countries, lower climate impact was among the least important reasons for paying a price premium. In the Western countries animal welfare was the most important reason while food safety was the most important reason in China. The most frequently stated reason for prioritizing animal welfare over climate impact was the belief that paying a price premium is necessary to make a difference for the animals while climate impacts can be handled by other means. An important insight gained is that the current focus on reducing climate impacts of pig production should not blind the relevant stakeholders to the importance of better animal welfare and food safety. If they lose sight of the latter, stakeholders will fall out of step with the priorities that many consumers currently have.