Lidl introduces method of production labels on chicken

If the trial by Lidl is successful, the labels could be rolled out across other meat products
If the trial by Lidl is successful, the labels could be rolled out across other meat products

Lidl is introducing a method of production meat label to be trialled on all of its fresh chicken products in a bid to improve transparency.

The retailer has announced the move as a measure to help customers make more informed decisions on the meat they buy.

The label aim to combat consumer confusion about how the chicken they buy was reared, by including details that have not previously been declared by supermarkets on pack.

It follows research by the retailer which shows that consumers want more detailed labelling, with 71% demanding supermarkets become more transparent with the information displayed on packaging.

The level of detail on the labels is similar to that found on egg packaging, with information on the different types of farming systems, including caged and free-range.

Research by the supermarket chain shows that consumers find this type of labelling to be very informative, with two-thirds saying that egg packaging is detailed and transparent, helping them understand how the chickens laying them were kept.

The label will begin to be rolled out from Friday 31 May and will be attached directly to the front of the product packaging, displaying one of the following messages:

• Indoor – Birds are reared outside the UK to legal housing requirements

• British Indoor – Birds live in safe, comfortable housing with natural daylight, bales, perches and pecking objects

• British Indoor+ - Birds live in housing with more space to exhibit natural behaviour; with natural daylight and environmental enrichment

• British Free Range – Birds live in safe, comfortable housing with access to the outdoors for a minimum of 8 hours a day

• British Organic – Birds have access to large outdoor ranges, with smaller flock sizes and a GM free diet

Ryan McDonnell, Chief Commercial Officer at Lidl, said it’s important that customers have access to meat products that are from a range of different farming systems.

“With method of production labelling having been in place for a number of years on egg packaging, it makes sense to us to apply the same concept to meat products.

“It’s a topic that has been discussed extensively across the industry and we’re pleased that, through our lean and agile business model, we are in a strong position to be able to conduct this trial for our customers and share our findings to support any future developments,” he said.

The Red Tractor welcomed the move, and said it welcomed any initiative that helps shoppers look for the Red Tractor label.