Consumers' valuation of sustainability labels on meat

Ellen J. Van Loo, Vincenzina Caputo*, Rodolfo M. Nayga, Wim Verbeke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

241 Citations (Scopus)


There are various sustainability certifications and claims for food products that focus on environmental or ethical benefits. These claims empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions that take environmental and ethical considerations into account. This paper compares consumers' preferences for four types of sustainability claims related to organic meat, free range, animal welfare and carbon footprint. Using a choice experiment on a chicken breast product, our results show that nine in every ten Belgian consumers favor free range claims, which are also valued the most highly, attracting premiums ranging from 43% to 93%. Our study also shows that a vast majority of consumers (87%) would welcome the introduction of an EU level animal welfare label. The carbon footprint labels and the organic labels are less appealing to consumers, who have lower willingness to pay for these labels. Belgian consumers prefer the national Belgian organic food logo, certified by a private organization, to the newly-introduced EU organic food logo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-150
Number of pages14
JournalFood Policy
Issue numberP1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal welfare
  • Carbon footprint
  • Choice experiment
  • Food labeling
  • Free range
  • Organic food
  • Sustainable food
  • Willingness to pay (WTP)


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