PurposeSince 2010, Swiss slaughterhouses have no longer accepted end-of-lay chickens, so egg producers have had to slaughter the animals on the farm and deliver them to biogas plants for gasification. However, the producers’ association, GalloCircle, has recently contracted a German slaughterhouse to process end-of-lay chickens into meat. As a consequence, an increasing number of these animals are now transported abroad. The purpose of this paper is to compare the two chains from a utilitarian perspective.Design/methodology/approachAn interview with a central actor is analyzed by objective hermeneutics. In addition, a utilitarian comparison of the two chains is carried out.FindingsThe interview with a core stakeholder reveals that he considers this to be worse for both the animals and the farmers. The system change has been motivated by the (either merely perceived or actual) ethical preferences of consumers. The authors ethical evaluation of the system change shows, however, that highly controversial assumptions would need to be made in order to justify it. The authors doubt that the (alleged) consumer preferences are based on a proper ethical analysis of the two options.Practical implicationsThe authors make a case for rationally reconsidering the choice of sending the chickens abroad.Originality/valueThe paper shows that utilitarian analysis is useful to consciously choose between different value chains.
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 10, 2019
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