Organic meat higher priority for Irish consumers

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Irish consumers now care more about animal welfare and organic when buying meat
Irish consumers now care more about animal welfare and organic when buying meat
Organic, free-range, high animal welfare standards and no hormones or antibiotics are proving to carry more weight with meat-eaters in Ireland, a study by the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Teagasc, has found.

According to research by Teagasc, farm-level production practices are becoming increasingly important in determining Irish consumers’ assessment of meat quality, replacing previous influences such as the appearance of meat or the country of origin of the product.

Lead author of the report, Dr Áine Regan in Teagasc’s Department of Agri-food Business and Spatial Analysis, said: “Far from being a niche group in the sample, the study identified that around a third of the study sample could be grouped into a segment of consumers who placed a high priority on the link between these four production practices and meat quality.”

The study also found that not only do a significant number of consumers perceive better-quality meat when assured of humane animal treatment, a sizeable number of respondents also revealed they would pay more for meat produced with good animal welfare standards.

According to the research, this indicated that consumers were not just supportive of animal welfare from a ‘concerned citizen’ perspective; rather, they considered these dimensions as attractive product attributes that influenced their assessments of meat quality and were likely to influence their purchasing decisions.

Regan added: “As this study shows, the consumer’s definition of ‘quality’ is constantly being re-evaluated and redefined. This has important implications for Quality Assurance schemes and highlights the need for continuous development of these schemes to align with consumers’ needs and values.

“Furthermore, as new attributes become increasingly prioritised by the consumer, it may become apparent that new forms of engagement and communication will be needed. For example, for issues related to animal welfare, public engagement mechanisms that engage and empower the consumer and that reconnect consumers directly with primary producers are likely to be important.”

Related topics: Products, Ireland, Poultry, Pork, Beef, Lamb

Related news

Related product

From trust grows success

From trust grows success

K+G Wetter | 09-Oct-2017 | Data Sheet

The award winning company Wünsch’s Fleischspezialitäten sets new quality standards for meat products – using machines made by K+G Wetter.

Related suppliers


Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.