NPA warns against ‘complex’ pork production labelling changes

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

Calls have been made to introduce a ‘method of production’ labelling on meat products
Calls have been made to introduce a ‘method of production’ labelling on meat products
UK-based The National Pig Association (NPA) has advised Government officials that changing pig production labels on packaging is “unnecessary” and could “mislead consumers”.

The move comes as calls have been made to introduce a ‘method of production’ labelling on meat products.

However, NPA believes there is already a good consistency of production method labels on pork.

It added that 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’ and ‘outdoor reared’, which are widely used by retailers on pork product labels.

The subject was discussed at the future of food labelling in the UK at the Westminster Forum event yesterday (13 November).

Pig production systems employed in the UK are highly diverse and difficult to categorise into simple terms​,” said NPA senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford. “We believe there is a limit to the amount of useful and easy-to-understand information that can be put on food labels, and this is something that has been explored through Defra commissioned research.

“Going beyond what is already required by law is likely to lead to greater rather than less confusion amongst consumers. The NPA believes it would be better to focus on improving awareness of existing labels, before looking at extending further labelling requirements through law.”

The Method of Production labelling was first introduced on fresh beef, pork and poultry lines in Lidl stores in Germany from April this year, as reported by sister title The Grocer.

The Haltungskompass (method of production compass) gives each product a score out of four based on how it was produced, allowing shoppers to see how welfare and production standards compare to other products.

Lidl Germany’s purchasing manager Jan Bock said: “We want to help our customers make informed choices for a more animal-friendly attitude. From now on, the respective form of keeping is transparent and recognisable directly on the packaging​.”

Related topics: United Kingdom, Industry & Markets, Pork

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