Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Animal welfare does not damage competitiveness

Farmers and politicians have expressed concern that Swedish and European agricultural producers do not compete on equal terms with the rest of the world because of stricter animal welfare legislation.

A new report from the AgriFood Economics Centre in Sweden shows that there is no justification for more tariffs based on the argument that stricter legislation would increase imports.

EU farmers hold their own well in competition with the rest of the world, despite the comparatively high demands the EU places on agricultural production.

“We have investigated the connection between animal welfare regulation in the EU and competitiveness. We have seen that the impact on competitiveness and on trade is very minor, if it exists at all”, says Anna Andersson, researcher at the AgriFood Economics Centre.

The aim of the report is to investigate whether trade barriers for certain products can be economically justified in order to protect a society’s values. For example, should farmers who are required to comply with stricter animal welfare legislation be compensated so that consumers do not snub EU products?

“In the debate, it is often said that we cannot defend our own values at home, but the study does not support that view.”

The cost of protecting domestic products, for example by introducing higher tariffs, is very high.

“More trade barriers would increase prices, consumers would have less choice, the use of our agricultural resources would become less efficient and reduced competition would lead to a less dynamic industry when the pressure for improvements falls. EU protection of agricultural products already hits poor countries the hardest and increased trade barriers would risk further worsening the situation”, says Ms Andersson.

The EU has a negative trade balance, i.e. it imports more than it exports, and this is due to large imports of products such as bananas, coffee, salmon and prawns, which are not produced, or only produced on a small scale, within the Union.

The AgriFood Economics Centre is a collaboration between Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Contact: Anna Andersson, researcher at the AgriFood Economics Centre, School of Economics and Management at Lund University,, +46 702 500855.

The report, Societal Concerns – Domestic policy choice and international competitiveness, can be downloaded from

Kristina Rörström | idw
Further information:

Further reports about: AgriFood Economics Agrifood Animal Economics animal welfare

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica

26.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>