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Agriculture and Food in the 21 st Century

Economic, Environmental and Social Challenges- Festschrift on the Occasion of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. P. Michael Schmitz 65 th Birthday

Monika Hartmann and Joachim Hesse

This Festschrift in honour of Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. P. Michael Schmitz covers theoretical as well as empirical works on challenges prevailing in the food and agricultural sector. Discussions of conflicts between social and ecological requests of citizens and market outcomes are provided. The contributors discuss options of policy interventions as well as their limitations. Empirical facts that can contribute to a more evidence based policy formation are also presented. The book itself consists of two parts: «agri-food markets and policies» and «agriculture, trade and development». Topics covered are moral, markets and policies, farm animal welfare, fat taxes, agricultural derivatives markets, future food value chains, free trade agreements, food security, food waste and climate change.
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Farm Animal Welfare: A Challenge for Markets and Policy: Monika Hartmann, Johannes Simons and Kakuli Dutta


Monika HARTMANN, Johannes SIMONS and Kakuli DUTTA


The public discussion about animal welfare in Western countries can be taken as an indicator for poor market performance regarding the implementation of a societal desired way of animal husbandry. From an economic point of view, governmental interventions to improve Farm Animal Welfare (FAW) can be justified in the case of asymmetric information, the existence of externalities or if animal welfare is regarded as a public or a merit good. All those market limitations seem to be given with respect to FAW.

An evaluation of policy intervention to enhance FAW standards needs to consider the interrelationship between national markets. Higher FAW standards have an impact on production costs and thereby on competitiveness. Divergent standards between countries may result in trade flows in favour of those countries with lower standards, thus harming producers in countries with stricter FAW regulations and limiting the potential positive effects for the welfare of farm animals. This holds, especially, as governmental action to prevent or limit imports of lower standard meat products and/or to subsidy high animal welfare livestock products are restricted by international agreements.

The private sector has a greater scope of action and by that could enforce standards that are above the international level. The German example shows that the principles of such a private initiative are applicable. Nevertheless, a lot of contentious question have to be settled in order to be able to put these principles into...

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