Identification of consumers’ purchasing criteria and perception of animal welfare and country of origin – a cross-national study

Rebecca Derstappen, Inken Christoph-Schulz


Social acceptance of livestock farming has been declining in recent years. Especially the husbandry conditions of pigs are controversially discussed in society, industry and politics. We conducted an exploratory cross-national study (Poland, Italy, Japan and South Korea) to provide insights into consumer attitudes, preferences and possible willingness to pay for pork, considering the influence and importance of pork purchasing criteria, the country of origin and animal welfare. Five online focus groups took place in each study country and were analysed using a qualitative content analysis. Consumer knowledge of animal welfare differed in European and Asian countries, although it was limited overall. Regarding pork purchasing habits, all participants emphasized that freshness, appearance, quality, country of origin and price were important. Nevertheless, almost all participants linked higher animal welfare standards with higher meat quality and therefore saw a personal benefit. In all countries, there is a need to increase awareness on the subject of animal welfare by developing specific infomational campaigns.


Animal welfare; purchasing criteria; cross-national study; pork

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ISSN 1869-6945


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