Company ethics high on consumers’ list of priorities

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A major survey by global market research agency Mintel has uncovered consumers' watch list for company ethics and other considerations.



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30 July 2015 | 0

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Consumers are voting with their feet and with their wallets when it comes to meat and the ethical treatment of animals by food companies and their suppliers, new research from Mintel has revealed. In a survey, the results of which were published by, 74 per cent of UK consumers agreed that the top issue when it comes to a company classifying itself as ethical was animal welfare.

This issue topped the list ahead of environmental concerns and tax avoidance.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of consumers responded that a company guaranteeing its ingredients are sourced ethically is an issue.

Respondents to the survey had other expectations in a company that called itself ethical, including environmental concerns (42%), carbon footprint (32%) and non-avoidance of taxes (30%). 72 per cent of those surveyed said that they expect adequate ethical standards to be met by companies without prices rising; Mintel added that this can be taken to mean consumers aren’t afraid to boycott brands that fall short of ethical expectations. In fact, 52 per cent of respondents said they would stop buying products from a certain company if they felt it was acting unethically.

“Ethics is becoming ever more ingrained into food and drink operators’ dourcing policies, but it is a complex area which is important to get right,” said Richard Ford, senior food analyst at Mintel. “That so many consumers would stop buying from a company acting unethically highlights that operators must ensure their operating standards are not just legally, but ethically robust, or risk boycotts and reputational damage.”




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