Labels NPA speaks up on 'Method of Production' labelling
The British pig sector already uses an established voluntary code of practice which defines several terms related to pig production methods, such as ‘outdoor bred’, ‘outdoor reared’ and ‘free range’. These are widely used by retailers on pork product labels.
The NPA understands the desire expressed by some groups to label meat and dairy products with specific definitions of how the animals used to produce them were reared, including for pigs reared indoors. But the organization warned that applying this to pork products would be extremely complex and could end up misleading consumers, as well as being unnecessary.
NPA senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford commented on the discussion: “There is already good consistency in the use of production method labels on pork and this information is available for those consumers that are interested. Pig production systems employed in the UK are highly diverse and difficult to categorize into simple terms. There is also likely to be significant cost involved in ensuring pork is labelled accurately, which would inevitably be passed on to both consumers and producers. We believe there is a limit to the amount of useful and easy-to-understand information that can be put on labels, and this is something that has been explored through Defra commissioned research. There is already legislation in place that aims to protect consumers from misleading product labelling.”