Public support for humane farming
MORE than half of British food shoppers - and even more in continental Europe - would be prepared to swap supermarkets to one which could prove it sold only meat and poultry produced in human conditions.
A survey of EU countries conducted by the research company Eurobarometer that 56% of Britons and 62% of mainland Europeans would make the switch, says the animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).
And even more consumers - 68% and 77% respectively - believe that farm animals deserve better welfare.
"The new EU survey shows that the European public are so concerned about farm animal welfare that 62 per cent of Europeans (56 in the UK) would change their usual supermarket," comments Peter Stevenson, CIWF's Chief Policy Advisor who was invited as a special observer to a conference today in Brussels launching the findings.
Initiatives such as CIF's Compassionate Supermarket of the Year awards scheme, now in its sixth year, and this week's Good Egg Awards, which rewarded among others Sainsbury's, J D Wetherspoon and Starbucks for switching to ethical cage-free egg supplies, bring together two unlikely allies - animal welfare campaigners and profit-making food suppliers.
"Its great to see the results of this survey backing up the work we are doing with supermarkets," says Peter Stevenson. "We have worked tirelessly with them and food suppliers across the UK and Europe to raise the standards of animal welfare. Now there's even more evidence to show why they need to act. It makes good business sense."
"We will keep pushing supermarkets and the food industry to keep raising the standards of farm animal welfare and respond to the public's demands," concludes Mr Stevenson.