Germany’s agriculture minister, Christian Schmidt, has reconfirmed plans to introduce a voluntary welfare labelling scheme ("Mehr Tierwohl") at the Green Week, initially just for pig meat. The intention is to eventually extend this to poultry and cattle for both meat and dairy products. The proposed state label would be voluntary and applicable to animals reared in good conditons.
The attidude towards meat consumption and livestock production is changing and animal welfare has become a core tentant of the Federals Ministry of Food and Agriculture`s (BMEL) mission.
The labelling shall be based on high standards that provide more animal welfare. For consumers, the animal welfare label shall create more transparency and choice when shopping. Criteria include the size and furnishing of the stalls, the duration of feeding and the transport conditions for animals.
The Agriculture Ministry is providing 70 million euros to farmers willing to bear the greater expense it will involve to raise animals this way. The label will appear in stores next year, or the year after that, Schmidt promises, expressly emphasizing that it is not a "niche luxury label." However,consumers expect greater quality and increasingly more sustainability from food, but at the same price. And futhermore, competition is hard and producers can pass on only a small part of the cost increases to retailers