Good farm animal welfare costs less than a box of chocolates

A bottle of wine, a DVD or a box of chocolates are just some of the treats people in the East Midlands indulge in every week but when it comes to the price of higher welfare food it seems many think that’s too expensive.

In a new survey to mark Farm Animal Week, 79 per cent of adults in the East Midlands cited cost as being a reason for not buying more higher welfare food - such as Freedom Food, free range and organic.

However according to the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme, the actual cost of a basket of higher welfare food can be as little as just over five pounds more than the cost of a non-higher welfare basket containing similar products* - less than the price of a box of chocolates. The majority (75%) of people surveye* in the East Midlands thought the price difference would be significantly more, at seven pounds more (50%) or 15 pounds more (25%).

Celebrity chef and farm animal welfare supporter Antony Worrall Thompson agrees that price perception can be a major barrier to buying higher welfare: “I often meet people that just assume higher welfare food means a much higher cost, and simply rule out these labels without even checking the price. But as this survey shows, good welfare doesn’t always have to cost as much as you might think.

“A higher welfare chicken, such as Freedom Food, can cost just 86p more than a standard one – that’s less than the price of a lottery ticket. A small price to pay for good farm animal welfare.”

The survey also revealed that 41 per cent of people in the East Midlands would be prepared to give up one of their regular treats - such as lottery tickets, a bottle of wine or a takeaway - and spend the money instead on higher welfare food.

In response to this news Freedom Food is urging people during Farm Animal Week to switch one item in their trolley for a higher welfare alternative. Freedom Food spokesperson, Liam Kurzeja, explains:

“It’s a really simple message. We want people to spare a thought for farm animals when they are shopping this week and ‘Switch one for Welfare’. Many of us have already stopped buying eggs from hens kept in battery cages, choosing barn or free range instead. We would like people to go one step further and look for the higher welfare Freedom Food logo on products like pork, chicken and salmon.

“And if you are eating out, don’t forget many pubs and restaurants now offer higher welfare food - you can find many that do on our ‘Simply Ask’ restaurant finder.”