My ministerial colleagues and I want to make it easier for the consumer to purchase food that aligns with their values, by improving transparency and providing the industry with a level playing field to promote such products. I understand that the majority of consumers value high standards of animal welfare but that this is not always fully reflected in what they purchase.
The Government ran a call for evidence in 2021 to gather data on the impacts of different types of labelling reforms for animal welfare. I am aware that over 1,600 responses were received, and the evidence suggested that there is public appetite for improved welfare labelling. However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) does not consider the time is right to consult on proposals to reform labelling for animal welfare.
Ministers intend to continue working with industry to explore how we can harness the market to improve food information for consumers and raise animal welfare standards. As part of this, Defra will continue to gather evidence on the impacts of wide range of market interventions, as well as how they would align with wider labelling proposals such as eco-labelling.