Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation welcomes Defra Consultation on fairer food labelling

Today (Tuesday 12th March) Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) has welcomed the launch of Defra’s Consultation on fairer food labelling. This follows the Defra Call for Evidence on mandatory labelling in 2021.

London, 12th March 2024

Today (Tuesday 12th March) Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) has welcomed the launch of Defra’s Consultation on fairer food labelling. This follows the Defra Call for Evidence on mandatory labelling in 2021.

The Consultation is designed to make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing food and allow them to choose products that align with their values. It will run for 8 weeks and seek views on proposals to improve transparency and consistency through improved country of origin, and animal welfare labelling in the UK.

Specifically, it includes proposals to explore country of origin labelling, to improve consumer understanding of the origin of certain foods, including how and where origin information is displayed, and on which products origin information should be mandatory.

Significantly, it also includes method of production labelling:

  • A mandatory label covering pork, chicken and eggs applying to both domestic and imported products.
  • A label with five tiers and underpinning standards that are primarily based on method of production, differentiating between products that fall below, meet and exceed relevant baseline UK welfare regulations. 
  • This would apply to all unprocessed pork, chicken and eggs and certain prepacked and loose minimally processed products with pork, chicken or egg.

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation has long called for mandatory labelling for animal welfare to provide such information at the point of purchase; in particular, labelling based on method of production and method of slaughter.

Last month Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation published a new report, ‘Labelling for Animal Welfare in the UK’ which makes the case for mandatory animal welfare labelling to be implemented in the UK. The report is authored by CAWF Head of Research Dr Steven McCulloch, qualified veterinary surgeon and Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Studies at the Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Winchester. CAWF’s report recommends the implementation of a method of production labelling system. Method of production, such as “indoor”, “free range”, and “organic”, is the key determinant of the welfare of farm animals.

You can read more about the Consultation here, and read Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation’s recent report here. CAWF Co-Founder Lorraine Platt also had an opinion piece in Comment Central on the subject of mandatory labelling here.

Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, commented: “We believe that knowledge is a critical tool for consumers as they make decisions about which products they purchase. As such, we are delighted to welcome today’s Consultation which explores how best to strengthen the UK’s food labelling system. We particularly welcome the option to explore including method of production on labels, which would provide increased transparency to consumers and reward British farmers who rear animals to higher welfare standards.

“We would further like to thank Secretary of State Steve Barclay MP, Farming Minister Mark Spencer MP, and the whole Defra team for their hard work in bringing forward this important next step in bolstering UK food labelling. We look forward to submitting to this Consultation in due course.”

About Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF)

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation was established in 2016 to raise awareness on the lives of billions of animals reared on intensive farms around the world and how this impact upon animal welfare, the environment and people’s health. We want to highlight the action people can take to help advance farm animal welfare.

Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards.

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation believes it is highly important that the welfare of farm animals is placed at the forefront of the Governments plan for food and farming along with its focus on productivity, competitiveness, and technology.

Media contact: Sophia Stileman (

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