Assessing the Level of Knowledge of Ukrainian Consumers Regarding Cows’ Welfare on Dairy Farms

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Hanna Petkun
Oleksandr Matryniuk
Volodymyr Melnyk
Vitalii Nedosekov

In modern society, consumers are very often the driving force of change. Therefore, it is important to understand and satisfy their needs. The purpose of the study was to identify modern Ukrainian consumers’ level of knowledge, interest and understanding of the importance of cows’ welfare on dairy farms, and to determine the willingness to pay a higher price for products from cows with a high level of welfare. The research was carried out through an online survey of representatives of Ukrainian consumers (n=2,345) between March and April 2023. Ukrainian consumers did not feel sufficiently informed on cows’ welfare, and most consumers had not come across welfare labelling and wanted to receive more information. Most Ukrainian consumers were ready to pay more (from 5 to 20%) for products from cows with a high level of welfare. Ukrainian consumers believed that the farmer has the greatest influence on welfare, and the consumers themselves have the least influence. Only 5% of consumers believe that government and legislation have a major impact on cows’ welfare. The respondents highly rated such parameters of welfare as sufficient space, adequate and high-quality feed, access to pastures, good relations with farm workers and expression of natural behaviour. We consider it important to increase the level of awareness of consumers in the field of animal welfare, to further develop a product certification scheme, and in the future to conduct a survey on awareness in the field of dairy herd welfare among Ukrainian farmers.

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