Use of Pig Production Terms in Food Labelling

UK - The need for clear, honest and unambiguous labelling of pork and pork products has been at the centre of British pig industry activity for some time.
calendar icon 2 January 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

And there is growing public interest in the subject — particularly in the precise meanings of definitions such as “free range“, “outdoor reared“ and so on.

Unlike in the poultry sector, the pig sector has no legally defined terms for production systems. Therefore RSPCA and BPEX have been working with a small group of producers, looking at the possibility of producing a set of clear and easily auditable definitions of production system terms.

“We propose to start by defining the terms in current use on retail packs and on menus,“ say BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan and RSPCA head of farm animals Julia Wrathall. “We have completed the first stage of this and before we go any further we would like to get the views of producers.“

These terms are:

  • Free Range.
  • Outdoor Bred.
  • Outdoor Reared.
  • Outdoor Finished has been added for completeness.

It is proposed these terms be used in a voluntary code of practice for the labelling of pork and pork products sold at retail and in foodservice.

The proposed definitions and their meanings will be the subject of a special edition of NPA News Digest next week. Producers are asked to respond with their views by 8 January.

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