WWF Poll: 85% Of Adults In West Yorkshire Would Prefer To Pay More For Hormone Free Beef
A new, local YouGov poll from WWF-UK has revealed that the overwhelming majority of West Yorkshire residents would prefer to eat non-growth hormone treated beef, even if it was more expensive.
The findings challenge the idea that low quality imported food will be welcomed by cost conscious UK consumers.
Eighty five percent (85%) of local people surveyed said they would prefer to pay more to ensure their meat was not growth hormone treated, and of those respondents who do eat beef, almost three quarters (74%) would not consider eating growth hormone-treated beef.
This feeling also resonated with other food. 85% would prefer to buy fruit and vegetables that do not have levels of pesticides residue that are currently banned in the UK, even if that means they are more expensive.
The conservation charity has launched a Stand Up For British Standards campaign encouraging local MPs to stand with them in ensuring current high food quality, environment and welfare standards are enshrined in upcoming trade deals.
The survey revealed that confidence in the standards of local and British food is high (89% for local (52% very confident, 38% fairly confident)) and 91% for British (41% very confident, 49% fairly confident) with confidence in food produced in Europe very slightly behind (74%), but the strength of confidence is less (21% very confident, 53% fairly confident).
Meanwhile, confidence in the standards of international food is far lower, with 34% of respondents not confident.
Over three quarters of respondents (77%) think that UK food standards are about right, with a further 16% stating they are too relaxed. Two thirds (66%) were aware of at least one of the three listed issues.
Around half of respondents were aware of some of the issues around future trade deals – such as relaxed food labelling rules, which food is banned, and levels of pesticide residue. A high proportion - over three quarters (80%) - report awareness of legal requirements in the UK to label food with nutritional information and to display the country of origin.
Over two thirds of respondents (69%) report being concerned that the UK will have more mega farms in the future.
Katie White, Executive Director of Advocacy & Campaigns WWF-UK, said: “These results show overwhelmingly how important standing up for British Standards is to the people of West Yorkshire. We stand with the local community and its food producers in demanding that any future trade deal upholds and improves our food and farming standards and doesn't bargain it away.
“This latest poll shows that over 80% of people would be happier to pay more for food (beef and fruit and vegetables) that hasn't been treated with hormones and banned pesticides. We're calling on local MPs to join the campaign to #SaveOurStandards, protect and uphold our food and farming standards and support farmers to be heroes in preserving our planet.”
As part of the campaign, scarecrows have been mysteriously appearing across Dewsbury to draw attention to the issue.
Whilst something fun and visual for locals to engage with, the scarecrows bring a serious message to the towns that British food standards are under threat, while calling on MPs, food producers, businesses and shoppers to get involved in the campaign.
The scarecrows and props are made from local and sustainable materials, including reused clothing and biodegradable hay and straw.