Labelling Food from Farm Animals within the EU

butcher shopThe Farm Animal Welfare Forum has three main aims for European farming:

• confidence for consumers about animal welfare and food quality
• a positive future for farmers based on high welfare, high quality and sustainability
• a substantial overall improvement in animal welfare standards.

The Forum believes that EU-wide mandatory labelling of all animal-derived foods according to method of production would be an important step towards these three aims and could lead to major benefits to consumers, farmers and animals.

Labelling Matters is a partnership project of Forum members Compassion in World Farming, RSPCA and the Soil Association, as well as Eurogroup for Animals. Together they are campaigning for method of production labelling of all meat and dairy products sold in the EU, backed by robust outcome-based assessments. The Labelling Matters website can be viewed at: http://www.labellingmatters.org

Evidence from EU surveys and those conducted by retailers and consumer groups show that consumers aspire to buy food raised to higher welfare standards. However, consumers lack information about products and remain confused about the meaning, status and comparability of different welfare claims on labels. The lack of clear information about which production systems were used to rear the animal producing the food products, as well as about the welfare potential of those production systems, remain significant barriers to consumer purchase of higher welfare food.

To address these issues, the Farm Animal Welfare Forum has set out proposals for mandatory, clear and unambiguous labelling of all animal-derived products according to method of production as the simplest and most effective way to give consumers the information that they want, to help them make informed purchasing choices.

To learn more about the Forum’s proposals, the case for action and a realistic implementation plan for mandatory labelling aimed at European policy-makers see our consultation report: Labelling Food From Farm Animals: Method of Production Labels for the European Union.