The objective of this study was to examine consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for animal welfare in dairy production using nonhypothetical Vickrey auctions and open-ended choice experiments. Two hundred fifteen subjects participated in experimental sessions with 4 types of dairy products (humane animal care-labeled cheese and ice cream and conventional cheese and ice cream) and 4 valuation mechanisms. Information treatment, which included information about humane animal care principles in dairy production, was used to examine the effects of information on WTP. The results showed that participants, on average, were willing to pay extra for a scoop of humane animal care-labeled ice cream above the price of conventional ice cream. However, no premium WTP for humane animal care-labeled cheese was detected. Furthermore, provision of information only about humane animal care principles in dairy production, without corresponding information about conventional production practices, did not increase WTP for humane animal care-labeled products.
Copyright © 2012 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.