Most consumers are confused by meat and dairy labels

Research into European product labels provides compelling evidence that, based on the label alone, most consumers are likely to misinterpret the farming method used for meat and dairy products.  This research provides evidence of the views of actual consumers of these types of products from each country and shows that confusing labels are not restricted to a single country or product range.

European Product Labels Research, commissioned by Labelling Matters, provides compelling evidence that, based on the label alone, most consumers, even those who feel they have ‘a reasonable, basic knowledge’ or ‘a good knowledge’ about ‘how farm animals are kept and reared’, are likely to misinterpret the method of production used for meat and dairy products.  

Labelling Matters is concerned that confusing labels on intensively produced meat and dairy products unhelpfully distort the marketplace against higher welfare products.  The widespread existence of confusing labels undermines the competitiveness of higher welfare brands and disincentivises further improvements and innovation.

Clear, honest labelling of meat and dairy produce is critical if the European Commission is to deliver on its ambition of market-driven improvements in farm animal welfare.  Method of production labelling is not about telling people what to buy – it’s about giving them a straightforward choice.

For more information, please read our briefing on this research - Click here