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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Use and non-use values as motivational construct dimensions for farm animal welfare: impacts on the economic outcome for the farm

Hansson, H.; Lagerkvist, C. J.; Azar, G.


This study explored how farmers' motivation in terms of use values and/or non-use values to work with farm animal welfare are associated with the economic outcome for the farm. Use values in farm animal welfare refer to economic value derived from productivity and profitability considerations. Non-use values in farm animal welfare refer to economic value derived from good animal welfare, irrespective of the use the farmer derives from the animal, currently or in the future. The analysis was based on detailed information about the income statements of a sample of Swedish dairy farmers, obtained from the Swedish Farm Economic Survey, complemented with survey information about their perceived use and non-use values in farm animal welfare. The findings suggest that farm economic outcome is significantly associated with motivation in terms of use values, but not so much with motivation in terms of non-use values. This is interesting from a policy point of view, because it indicates that farmers with different approaches to farm animal welfare may experience different economic outcomes for their farms. Findings can, for instance, be used to strengthen farmers' engagement in various private quality assurance standards, which generally focus on values of non-use type, by pointing to that realisation of such values will not impair the economic outcome of the farms. Moreover, findings also suggest that farmers' economic incentives for engagement in such standards may need to be further strengthened in order to become more attractive, as findings point to that a focus on non-use values generally is not associated with more favourable economic outcomes.


dairy farms; economic outcome; farm animal welfare; non-use values; use values

Published in

2018, Volume: 12, number: 10, pages: 2147-2155