It is time for honest, informative food labelling.
Mandatory method of production labelling is empowering for consumers, fairer for farmers, and can improve the lives of millions of farm animals each year.
This is an issue for everyone.
Knowing how your meat and dairy was produced has been proven to be a key area of concern for UK and EU citizens.
- 8 out of 10 UK consumers want to know how farm animals were reared.
- Only mandatory labelling can provide real choice.
- Current labels have proven to be confusing and misleading.
- Mandatory labelling creates a level playing field for farmers. It will acknowledge the efforts of farmers who are working to improve the living conditions of their farm animals.
- You would be able to accurately identify products from higher welfare or intensive farm systems. When shoppers have clear labelling, they choose higher welfare products. This improves the lives of millions of farm animals.
LIFE CHANGING FOR FARM ANIMALS
Method of production labelling on all meat a dairy products would improve billions of farm animals lives. The existing egg labelling scheme gives clear evidence that when we are informed, we make higher welfare choices.
Animals are recognised as sentient beings, acknowledging their ability to feel pain, suffer and also experience joy. No one who has seen a cow going outside for the first time after a winter indoors, a hen dust bathing, or a pig wallowing in a fresh patch of mud would disagree with that. The simple step of introducing method of production labelling would ensure we were not being misled about the lives of animals farmed for meat and dairy.
We believe method of production labels must be underpinned by assurance schemes that measure animal welfare outcomes.
EMPOWERING FOR CONSUMERS
We are visual creatures, we rely heavily on information given to us at point of decision making. So we look to the label…
Labels sell products, they drive product demand. They are the only real tool consumers have to connect them to where their food has come from and act on their preferences.
At the moment the sea of un-regulated labels, and misleading packaging can be confusing. With your help, this can change. By introducing simple, clear, standardised ‘method of production’ labels, we can answer the question consumers most want to know ‘How was this animal kept?’
When labelling is mandatory – in other words on everything from the most intensively produced meat and dairy products, to the most welfare friendly products – it is easy for consumers to compare standards and to make an informed choice.
FAIRER FOR FARMERS
Shoppers are caring more and more about where their food comes from, but at the moment there is no clear labelling system to help them make informed choices for their meat and dairy purchases.
Labelling farming systems are a simple measure to enhance transparency – meaning that consumers can identify higher welfare products – and recognise farmers working to higher welfare standards. Clear, honest labelling increases farmer confidence in the market for higher welfare meat and dairy products, incentivising new entrants, and stimulating further improvements, and innovation.
BETTER FOR RETAILERS
Retailers want to meet the demands of their customers. To do that they need a clear communication channel. When method of production labelling was introduced for eggs, it gave retail customers the chance to demonstrate their desire for higher welfare eggs.
Many retailers have identified providing good information to their customers as a priority, and want to support consumer choice. Expanding method of production labelling to all meat and dairy products would provide a clear route to achieve this.
To avoid imbalances in the market the Government needs to implement a labelling law, applying to all retail simultaneously. This would ensure harmonisation and a level playing field for all retailers.
GOOD FOR GOVERNMENTS
We believe that harmonising meat and dairy product labelling across the Europe is critical if Governments are to deliver on their commitments to transparency and improving standards.
This law would provide Governments with a solid base for evaluating markets, a straightforward opportunity to deliver growth in all higher welfare meat and dairy sectors, improve consumer choice, and allow the market to influence and reward improvements in farm animal welfare.
Existing initiatives set the precedent and demonstrate the success of method of production labelling in delivering consumer-supported price differentiation. When these labels are underpinned by independent assurance schemes, they also help enforce animal health and welfare rules, improving biosecurity, food safety and food security.
OPPORTUNITY FOR BRITAIN
Without a law on mandatory labelling, British farmers will be under threat of cheap lower welfare imports. Method of production labelling provides a clear and fair way for Britain to capitalise on, and continue to improve, our higher welfare standards.
Method of production labelling has proved itself to be an important tool for increasing the market for higher welfare products, and an excellent opportunity for farmers to add value to their goods. When these labels are underpinned by independent assurance schemes, they also help enforce animal health and welfare rules, improving bio-security.