BBC Countryfile last night raised the important issue of food labelling. It’s an issue that really should have much greater prominence.
For far too long, meat and milk from the factory farm has been allowed to hide behind labels such as ‘farm fresh’. Yes, food produced to genuinely higher standards, such as free range, organic or Freedom Food will be labelled. But it competes on the shelf with labels that all too often give a misleading impression of how the food is produced. This makes compassionate consumerism all the more difficult.
That is why Compassion in World Farming has joined forces with our friends at the RSPCA, Soil Association and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to launch a new campaign for better food labelling. We want to see all meat and milk labelled according to how it was produced. We have already won this for eggs; eggs from hens in cages have to labelled as just that; ‘eggs from caged hens’. We want to see the same rule applied to intensively farmed chickens reared for meat, to pork and bacon from animals bred and reared indoors, and, well, the same principle applied to all products from animals.
The recent furore over plans, now withdrawn, for a US-style mega-dairy in Lincolnshire has also brought the labelling of milk to the fore; have the cows been kept in large numbers, confined on concrete and sand or have they been kept in fields during the grazing season?
I believe consumers have a right to know how their food is produced. Our new campaign is aimed at achieving just that; clear labelling by law. So that consumers can be absolutely sure how their food is produced.
Please support our campaign. Over the coming months, we’ll be offering you plenty of ways you can get involved. And remember; when shopping for food produced to genuinely higher standards of welfare, look for terms such as ‘free range’, ‘organic’ or ‘Freedom Food’.