What does the label really tell you about the way pigs raised for meat are treated?

94 percent of Australian pork comes from pigs confined in factory farms, where they are afforded no quality of life whatsoever. With increased community awareness about the cruelty of factory farming, the lives led by these animals are becoming an increasingly important consideration in purchasing decisions.

With no consistent or legally enforceable definitions for pig production systems in Australia, it’s not easy to understand what the various logos and terms on packaging mean. Below we have attempted to demystify pork production and in doing so assist more people to make kinder choices.

And with the majority of pork products currently coming from factory-farms, we wouldn’t be doing our job as animal advocates if we didn’t remind you that you also have the option of choosing meat-free alternatives! A lack of public awareness about the lives led by factory-farmed animals has led to increased demand for cheap meat products. The current demand for pork, bacon and ham products can only be met by factory farming – hence the need to reduce demand by making kinder, alternative choices – to make a world free of factory farming possible.

Certification systems included in the table:

RSPCA Approved Farming (RSPCA)

Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program (APIQ)

Australian Certified Organic (ACO)

Humane Choice is a free range accreditation program from the Humane Society International Australia (Humane Choice)

Organic Food Chain (OFC)

National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA)

Organic Growers of Australia (OGA)

Demeter is the certification label for Bio-Dynamic produce (Demeter)

Note: If the production system isn’t specified on the packaging, the pig was almost certainly factory farmed.

click here for the full article with a great table that explains all the labels. Making sense of pork, bacon and ham labels.