The Consumer and the Egg:
Negotiating Eco-Labels Michele L. W. Knaus Leadership for Ecology, Culture and Learning Masters of Education, PSU, 6/14/08 Need a Job!
Age Mostly 26-40 years old
Education 90% well educated 25 or younger 26-40 41-60 61 or older High School College Post-Grad Professional Yearly Household Income Wide range of Incomes
Consumer Identiﬁcation with Issues vote
with my food dollar 88% Politics food system issues 95% Politics environmental issues 98% Earth Friendly ethical treatment of animals 91% Animal Lovers local economy 96% $$ & Community food cost 79% $$ & Personal Budget food safety concerns 87% Don’t want to die 0 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 Percentage who agree with statement
Have consumers done their research?
Thought about where you get your eggs 95% Looked up information about eggs online 56% Visited your egg producer’s website 25% Visted your egg farm 21% Noticed if grocery store had information 24% 0 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00
Who Certiﬁes the Ecolabels? Consumers
thought they knew who certiﬁed cage free and free range eggs... but they were wrong. Thought they were right, 63% got it wrong. Only 21% actually got it right Had no idea. 16% At least they knew they didn’t know... no idea got it wrong
Ecolabel: Cage Free • No
small cages • Chickens live their lives in warehouses • No monitoring by any agencies or 3rd parties • Use of term at whim of marketing department
Ecolabel: Free Range • No
small cages •Amount of access to • Chickens live their lives in outdoors is not warehouses regulated or standard • No monitoring by any agencies or 3rd parties • Use of term at whim of marketing department
Certiﬁed Organic • All the
beneﬁts of cage free and free range eggs, plus chickens are fed (expensive) organic, vegetarian feed • Third party audited
Certiﬁed Humane Raised and Handled
• High Standards for chickens’ welfare: many regulations regarding natural behavior and stocking density • Third party audited • No Molting by Starvation
What the Terms Mean Ethical
Treatment Beak Cutting Molting by Starvation - searing off of the tip of - starvation for 2 weeks the beak to prevent of laying hens to induce chicken attacks among another few weeks of crowded ﬂock laying before chicken is terminated 60% of survey participants thought no label allowed this, but the 63% of survey participants thought industry truth is that they ALL NO label permitted this, but in allow this truth, the only one that doesn’t is Certiﬁed Humane Raised and Handled.
Vegetarian Fed: makes sure that
the laying hens aren’t fed some really nasty stuff Make a note: certiﬁed organic eggs already guarantees vegetarian, antibiotic-free feed, you don’t have to look for this label on your egg carton if you buy organic