Roe, E.J. and Higgin, M.,
The presence of animal-welfare friendly bodies: an organised or disorganised achievement in the food supply chain.
Kaiser, Matthias and Lien, Marianne Elisabeth (eds.)
In Ethics and Politics of food.
Wageningen Academic Publishers. 592 pp.
Microsoft Word RoeHigginWelfare2006.doc
- Author's Original
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?
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