Major processed pork producer moves to improve labeling on its products

29 May 2018

Primo, a JBS-owned company and the largest producer of processed pork products in Australia, has agreed to improve its labeling on pork products.

Primo processed pork is widely available in supermarkets across Australia. At the beginning of our global Raise Pigs Right campaign last month, we urged Primo to tell its consumers which countries it imports pork from, because welfare standards for pigs in Australia are higher than several of the countries Primo sources its pork from.

What has Primo promised?

Australia's pig industry is on its way to being sow stall free, however most ham and bacon is imported and includes pork from countries where most mother pigs spend their lives in steel cages. The current Country of Origin Labelling laws don't require information on which country imported pork comes from, so consumers have no way of avoiding countries that use cruel cages for mother pigs – known as sow stalls – for the entire pregnancy.

Our team wrote to Primo, asking it to label products to make it clear if they contain pork from Europe or from North America.

While the European Union has banned the use of these sow stalls for the entire pregnancy, they remain commonplace in the US and Canada, where Primo sources much of its pork. This labeling would give consumers the information they need to choose pork that comes from countries that have limited use of sow stalls.

Within days of our petition launching in Australia, Primo wrote back to say it would agree to our request by phasing in labeling which details that the pork is of European origin only, for all products where this is the case. The European Directive limits the use of sow stalls for pigs during pregnancy to 28 days only. This labeling change will apply to much of Primo's bacon products, and will be done by January 2019.

We're pushing Primo to update their website information before then.

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