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Demand for farm animal welfare and producer implications: Results from a field experiment in Michigan
- Ortega, David L., Wolf, Christopher A.
- Food policy 2018 v.74 pp. 74-81
- animal welfare, consumer demand, farmed animal species, farms, field experimentation, issues and policy, marketing, production costs, willingness to pay, Michigan
- This study utilizes a Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) mechanism to assess Michigan consumer demand for animal welfare practices. Results are examined in the context of changing farm production costs and producer marketing margins. We find that while consumers are willing to pay significant premiums for animal welfare standards, failing to account for the costs associated with producing the entire animal under the new system could lead to suboptimal policy that negatively affects producer welfare. Our results suggest that consumer premiums for animal welfare are product specific and that WTP estimates should not be generalized to the entire animal. We discuss policy implications of our findings and highlight the importance of considering producer costs when evaluating consumer demand for farm animal welfare practices.