The British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) call for the introduction of transparent labelling concerning the method of meat production has drawn a carefully measured response from Red Tractor, the UK food assurance body.
“Legislation already exists to define free range chicken production and Red Tractor has standards to define good husbandry in both free range and housed systems,” said Assured Food Standards chief executive, David Clarke.
“Of course, we could go further and invent more label terms for further sub divisions of production systems for different species, but we need to be careful not to cross the line where the plethora of different labels becomes so confusing that it ceases to serve a useful purpose.”
Mr Clark also pointed out that the Red Tractor logo, which appears on about £12bn worth of food every year, can be found on meat and poultry products in almost all major retailers and many restaurants chains.
“The logo is far and away the easiest way for British shoppers to identify food that has been processed in a humane way,” he said.