LIDL has said it will roll out its method of production labelling beyond fresh chicken to include duck, turkey eggs and pork.

The supermarket trialled the scheme, which clearly labels whether produce was barn-reared, free-range or organic, last year in the UK.

See also: Shoppers equate free range with higher welfare than organic

It is modelled on a similar labelling that the supermarket uses in Germany, though in the UK different tiers of production are presented in a more neutral way.

The supermarket said its ‘welfare windows’ offered greater transparency for consumers.

  •  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

The NFU said it had several concerns over the labelling, in particular pointing out that welfare and production systems “are not intrinsically linked”.

But it welcomed what it described as Lidl’s “long-term thinking and “willingness to try to improve shoppers’ understanding of how food is produced and the process from farm to fork”.

Unambiguous labelling

Its poultry board chairman, Tom Wornham, said: “The NFU poultry board has long called for clear, unambiguous labelling to help shoppers understand where products have come from and make informed decisions on the food they buy.

“We are pleased that Lidl’s decision to include additional labelling was made based on the results of customer research and consideration of consumer insights and that they will continue to work closely with the assurance schemes that consumers already know and trust, such as the Red Tractor.”