22 Jul 2009

Food labels to include information about sow crates

7:29 pm on 22 July 2009

The New Zealand pork industry is committing to the introduction of labels that will tell consumers how long animals have spent in sow crates.

Intensive pig farming has been under scrutiny recently because of small stall sizes and the squalid conditions some animals live in.

Agriculture Minister David Carter told the industry this week that it needs to make significant changes.

The Pork Industry Board, which represents producers, says it is starting work on a new labelling system - which will hopefully be in place by the end of this year.

Chief Executive Sam McIvor told Checkpoint consumer feedback will help decide how detailed information on labels is.

"What we need to hear from consumers, and we'll be sitting down with focus groups ... to understand what is the most important information for them and how that can best be described on a label."