The impact of animal welfare on willingness-to-pay for meat
: mediation of expected meat quality and moderation of meat type and animal empathy

  • Daniela Sofia de Brito Francisco (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Throughout the last decades, consumers have become more aware and concerned about the impact of what they buy on their health and society. Authors have pointed out the meat market as being part of this change, partially due to consumers’ demand for higher welfare of the farm animals originating the meat consumed. The aim of this dissertation is thus to understand how animal welfare (AW) may affect the willingness to pay (WTP) for meat, namely through the introduction of an existing AW label on meat packages. Furthermore, it will be investigated how certain factors – meat type (MT) (chicken vs pork), animal empathy and expected meat quality (EMQ) – may influence this relationship, either by moderating or mediating it.The implemented methodology consisted of two surveys – a preliminary one, that failed to find relevant similarities between the perception of AW of the different levels in the label, and the main survey, from which conclusions were drawn. These include that, on average, consumers associate meat with no label to a medium(C)/good(B) level of welfare, that they are more willing to pay for a 1-level increase in welfare when AW is low (D), that EMQ has a positive mediating effect on WTP, and that MT and AE are both non-significant moderators. It was also concluded that the introduction of such a label would only be beneficial for some companies, depending on their current levels of welfare, strategy and costs. In the end, implications and limitations are described, and future research is suggested.
Date of Award20 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo Romeiro (Supervisor)


  • Animal welfare
  • Animal wellbeing
  • Animal empathy
  • Expected meat quality
  • Willingness-to-pay


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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