Modern agricultural technologies have focused on improving the production efficiency, resulting in some animal treatment methods in the livestock, dairy and poultry farming sector that cause public concerns. Such technologies and concerns have been adopted and recognized widely in developing countries but not so in developing countries.
A Consumer WTP Analysis for Pork
We use pork, the staple meat in China, as an example to investigate Chinese urban consumers’ preferences for animal welfare. Choice experiment surveys in the two top cities, Beijing and Shanghai, were collected in 2014, and random parameter logit models are applied to estimate consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the animal welfare attribute of pork, together with environmental stewardship, food safety and country of origin.
We also attempt to separate consumers’ preference for animal welfare from their own consumption concern of the meat quality and safety resulting from animals treated better or their actual care about the animals. Results show that Chinese consumers are willing to pay a price premium for the animal welfare attribute, and they generally believe animals treated better will yield better taste and safer meat. However, the latter does not affect their WTP, which implies they care about the animals irrespective to the yielded meat quality and safety.