Raising more than half the world’s pigs, China’s food producers were prepared to overlook animal welfare in favor of low-cost meat in the past, according to World Animal Protection. However, the latest survey from the UK-based organization revealed that Chinese consumers are now willing to choose and pay more for higher-welfare pork.
According to the survey, almost 90% of Chinese consumers asked said they would be willing to change their purchasing habits and choose pork products from pigs that have lived better lives, and 75% said they were willing to pay more for higher-welfare pork. Of those shown a picture of pigs confined in stalls, 83% said they wanted to see production systems where the animals could move around.
What’s more, the survey showed that businesses that offer higher-welfare pork stand to attract more customers, with 77% of the people surveyed saying they would choose such a retailer.
“There is a growing awareness among Chinese people about the importance of animal welfare, and a growing demand for the food we eat to come from farm animals with a better quality of life,” said Chu Xueqin, Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection in China. “The message is loud and clear for farmers, food suppliers, and supermarkets: consumers want to see higher welfare pork on the shelves.”
Recently, UK animal-welfare group Compassion in World Farming announced it was joining forces with China’s only government-approved pig organization to raise animal welfare standards and educate companies about how improving the lives of pigs can boost food quality and business performance.