Loyalty to home produced beef is surprisingly weak among women shoppers, though their knowledge of the livestock industry is remarkable in some respects, according to a survey by Midland Meat Packers.
The company gauged consumer attitudes by approaching non-farming visitors to the recent Royal Show, and has interpreted its findings as meaning labelling and promotional activities with major retailers must be sustained.
Alison Clarke of MMP reported 71% of the total sample said they always bought British beef when shopping, "but this drops to 63% among women, who are most responsible for household food purchasing".
The survey also indicated commitment to home produced beef was much weaker when consumers were eating out.
The survey suggests the industry had achieved some success in using animal welfare and food safety arguments against imports.
Three-quarters of the sample knew British cattle had passports, and only 20% believed cattle reared in other countries were treated as well as British beef animals, though surprisingly few of those questioned realised hormone growth promoters were banned in this country.

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