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Who cares about fish welfare?

Who cares about fish welfare? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to assess how concerned Norwegians are about fish welfare; second, to investigate Norwegians’ willingness to pay for salmon filet made from welfare-assured farmed fish with high levels of welfare; and third, to examine Norwegian opinions about the appropriate way to pay for better welfare standards in fish production. Design/methodology/approach – On the basis of two focus group sessions, a survey questionnaire was developed and distributed to a representative sample of 2,147 Norwegian households via e-mail. Findings – Results showed that the Norwegian public is concerned about fish welfare and is willing to pay a price premium for products made from welfare-assured fish. Norwegian consumers do not, however, want to be the only ones paying for fish welfare, as the main responsibility for fish welfare lies with producers and the Government. Research limitations/implications – In this study willingness to pay is measured using a hypothetical choice experiment. Values people express as citizens, however, may not accurately predict true consumer behaviour. This is generally referred to as “citizen-consumer duality” and may have affected the results. Practical implications – The study shows that there is a national market for welfare-assured fish products, but education initiatives focusing on fish farming and fish welfare issues would further influence the attitudes and purchasing habits of Norwegian consumers. Originality/value – Although concern about animal welfare is growing in the western world, very little attention has been given to the welfare of fish. This paper aims to make up for this by presenting a study of how Norwegians view the welfare of farmed salmon. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/BFJ-08-2013-0223
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to assess how concerned Norwegians are about fish welfare; second, to investigate Norwegians’ willingness to pay for salmon filet made from welfare-assured farmed fish with high levels of welfare; and third, to examine Norwegian opinions about the appropriate way to pay for better welfare standards in fish production. Design/methodology/approach – On the basis of two focus group sessions, a survey questionnaire was developed and distributed to a representative sample of 2,147 Norwegian households via e-mail. Findings – Results showed that the Norwegian public is concerned about fish welfare and is willing to pay a price premium for products made from welfare-assured fish. Norwegian consumers do not, however, want to be the only ones paying for fish welfare, as the main responsibility for fish welfare lies with producers and the Government. Research limitations/implications – In this study willingness to pay is measured using a hypothetical choice experiment. Values people express as citizens, however, may not accurately predict true consumer behaviour. This is generally referred to as “citizen-consumer duality” and may have affected the results. Practical implications – The study shows that there is a national market for welfare-assured fish products, but education initiatives focusing on fish farming and fish welfare issues would further influence the attitudes and purchasing habits of Norwegian consumers. Originality/value – Although concern about animal welfare is growing in the western world, very little attention has been given to the welfare of fish. This paper aims to make up for this by presenting a study of how Norwegians view the welfare of farmed salmon.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 5, 2015

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