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Quality label for animal-friendly foodstuff in Finland to be developed

animal welfare label; cows on a pasture

Among Finnish consumers there is a growing interest in animal-friendly products and a quality packing label for ethical production. There are plenty of farmers, slaughterhouses, companies and retailers that already have possibilities and interest to develop a label that ensures high animal welfare standard.

A label telling about animal welfare

The project for developing a welfare label for food products of animal origin was kicked off with group discussions on the criteria for and possibilities of the label. In the discussions, experts from primary production, food industry, trade and associations as well as researchers deliberated over what the package labelling indicating the welfare of animals could be like. The experts presented different views regarding which animal welfare-improving measures should be required from products using the label. The label could highlight the strengths already existing in Finnish animal production, or it could be a labelling scheme that indicates different levels of quality requirements.

Promotion for Finnish quality foodstuff

Besides promoting the welfare of farm animals with concrete actions throughout the production chain, the aim of the labelling is also to improve the consumers’ possibilities of choice in supporting welfare-positive production. Labelling may help with planning the criteria of public sector procurements as well as with the export marketing of high-quality, ethically Finnish animal products.

The project will also study what kind of a welfare label would best respond to the consumers’ needs, what requirements and costs it would create for primary production and food industry, and assess the profitability of labelling. The project will propose an action plan for implementing the welfare label in Finland. The plan can be used for promoting the welfare of animals, for productization and for marketing.

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Animal welfare labelling to promote competitiveness and quality of livestock production is a three-year project funded by the Development Fund for Agriculture and Forestry. The project is implemented by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and Pellervo Economic Research (PTT). The Finnish Centre for Animal Welfare of Luke is participating in the implementation. Several companies, associations and organisations are also contributing to the project.