The presence of animal-welfare friendly bodies: an organised or disorganised achievement in the food supply chain.

Roe, E.J. and Higgin, M. (2006) The presence of animal-welfare friendly bodies: an organised or disorganised achievement in the food supply chain. In, Kaiser, Matthias and Lien, Marianne Elisabeth (eds.) Ethics and Politics of food. 6th congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, EurSAFE 2006 Wageningen, Wageningen Academic Publishers.


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This paper explores the market for food products derived from cattle, chickens and pigs that are considered to have had a welfare-friendlier life. Welfare-friendly claims hold considerable ambiguity in meaning since there is no precise definition of what better ‘animal welfare’ means in practice. However, despite this ambiguity there are numbers of animals that are being made into food products which carry labelling that suggests higher animal welfare, and in addition many animals or parts of animals which experience the same living standards but which don’t ever get labelled to suggest welfare-friendliness.

Through the development of an ‘economy of qualities’ (Callon et al 2002) within the food market there have been a number of private initiatives by major retailers, farmers’ cooperatives, independent standard bodies, manufacturing brands within the UK which has supported the development of a market for ‘welfare-friendly’ food products. How do these organisations work together to realise the economic potential through product labelling or corporate branding of meat/dairy or egg products from welfare-friendly production practices? Or in other words, by what mechanisms do some bodies or body-products of animals attain, retain or lose power as welfare-friendly as they move through the different organised spaces of the supply chain?

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9086860087 (paperback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: animal welfare, agro-food network, market quality assurance schemes, retailer brands
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Economy, Culture, Space
ePrint ID: 58627
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
June 2006Published
May 2006Submitted
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:40

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