The label will first be used on pork products, Source: Depositphotos

Flanders introduces animal-friendly labeling for food products

Flanders introduces animal-friendly labeling for food products

They’ll help guide consumers conscious of issues of animal welfare

The Flemish Ministry of Animal Welfare has announced that it plans to introduce a new label, Beter voor Dieren (Better for Animals), which will be put on food to identify products whose producers have followed ethical standards in raising the animals used for human consumption.

This label will serve to guide conscious consumers in their choices but will also encourage food producers to act more responsibly and thus gain a more favourable advantage on the market by showing that they care about the well-being of animals raised for food.

Europeans care about animal welfare

Animal welfare is a broad subject which is not limited only to the rights and comfort enjoyed by domestic pets but also covers the way farm animals, which are normally a food source, are treated.

90% of Europeans, for instance, consider that farming and breeding practices should meet basic ethical requirements.

"For many Flemings, animals play a crucial role in their lives, and they also want their purchasing decisions to be guided by animal welfare," the Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts said, quoted by Belga news agency. "The Beter voor Dieren label makes this possible and even easy. At a glance, you will be able to see which producers are going the extra mile for animal welfare and which are not."

And going the extra mile is what it’s all about. Inspectors will slap the label only on food, whose producers have made the effort to go beyond the basic legal requirements for healthy food production. This may include minimising unnecessary transport, providing additional enrichment or ensuring that animals have extra space.

The label will have three levels: one plus sign for limited extra effort, two plus signs for increased effort and three plus signs for those producers who go the extra mile.

Flemish consumers will start seeing the new labels at the end of the year, first on pork products, followed by poultry and other animal-origin food products.



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