The UK has set a new precedent for labelling standards on free range pork products. Supermarket giant, Waitrose, has had their campaign for Waitrose pork banned for misleading consumers about the pigs' living conditions.
The ads, featuring chefs Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith, said pork sold under the retailer's Essential Waitrose label was deemed to misleadingly suggest Waitrose pork came from pigs that spent the duration of their lives outdoors, when in fact the pigs live in sheds after weaning. This system of farming is known as outdoor bred (bred free range) and as such the pigs grown for pork are raised indoors.
"This decision should sound warning bells for all pork producers that choose to misrepresent their product in an attempt to take advantage of the growing free range market" said Humane Choice Compliance Manager, Lee McCosker.
Consumer perceptions of free range pork are that the pigs are free to graze in open pastures. Packaging and labelling that allude to these conditions but cannot deliver a genuine free range product are deceitful and a blatant effort to mislead the public.
Vigilance will help to expose such fraudulent claims in Australia and reporting your concerns to us or directly to the ACCC will help stamp out free range fraud. A matter concerning substitution in Western Australia of cage eggs for free range is currently before the ACCC.
If you are seeking a guarantee that the free range product is genuine, request that your retailer stock Humane Choice products. Humane Choice accredits true free range farms that allow their animals to graze on pasture and adhere to animal welfare and environmental standards.