Research conducted by Technomic in conjunction with the animal welfare group ASPCA finds that about 25 percent of supermarket industry decision-makers are motivated to stock products with claims and certifications indicating that animals are humanely raised and are seeing the benefits of doing so through strong sales. However, their research report – “Understanding Retailers’ Animal Welfare Priorities” – also revealed that those decision-makers largely don’t understand the differences between animal welfare claims – which are unverified and often undefined – and animal welfare certifications – which are verified and backed by audits and standards. When asked about claims that offer significant benefits to animals, 40 percent said they had a very good understanding of the term "organic," compared to 31 percent who offered the same rating for "sustainably farmed." ASPCA’s Nancy Roulston said the group is encouraged by the fact that retailers are responding to consumers’ demand for products that promise better animal welfare. But she said it is “critical that retailers recognize which animal welfare claims are meaningful and relay that knowledge to their shoppers.” Technomic surveyed about 300 supermarket executives, with about two-thirds from traditional stores and another third from specialty, organic and natural markets and also conducted about 40 interviews.
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