UNITED KINGDOM, London. The National Pig Association (NPA) has urged caution on calls to introduce ‘Method of Production’ labelling on meat and dairy products.The subject is due to be discussed at a Westminster Forum event in London on the future of food labelling in the UK.
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.
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.”