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Confusion 'Likely to Continue' for Pork Products

by 5m Editor
7 December 2009, at 9:28am

NEW ZEALAND - Consumer New Zealand says new labelling for fresh pork products is unlikely to prevent confusion among customers.

The Pork Industry Board announced earlier this year that it would organise independent audits on all commercial pig farms and introduce labelling to assure customers that the production met animal welfare standards.

However it will be up to consumers to familiarise themselves with the various ways pigs are farmed, reports Radio New Zealand News.

These include free farming, where the animals are reared inside but are given more room than they would have in sow crates, and free-range where the animals are farmed outside.

The board's chief executive Sam McIvor says the audit is likely to take place in the first part of next year, and the organisation will continue to distinguish locally-grown products on labelling.

The chief executive of Consumer New Zealand, Sue Chetwin, says a website being set up by the board will help educate people about how pork is raised, but a lack of clear definitions on labels is likely to add to the confusion.

For example free-farmed is a confusing term because it in fact it includes an element of caging, she says.