For people to make informed food choices transparency is essential. Retailers should provide clear information on origin and method of production that covers the entire range of animal products, including ingredients. Currently products may have labels or packaging that is undefined, unclear or misleading in its imagery, i.e. products from animals raised intensively indoors might be promoted with pictures of outdoor small-scale farms.
Eating Better’s 2019 sandwich survey, found that it is not even possible to identify from which country meat comes from for a third of sandwiches. Better transparency would also help to drive standards up throughout the industry and encourage ‘better’ to become the norm, as in the case of free-range eggs.
Retailers should support consumers to identify products from ‘better’ production systems. The best way to achieve this is through clearly identifiable information on the packaging or at the point of sale. Recognisable labels from credible certification schemes work well, but currently cover only premium products that constitute a small fraction of sales.
Retailers should collaborate to ensure labelling coherence across the sector or call on the government to introduce mandatory, standardised method of production labelling, to avoid confusing people.