In the case of organic business Cleaver’s, this means meat that is free-range, with no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours, hormone or growth-enhancers and absolutely no antibiotics.
The new labelling from Cleaver’s aims to make it clear that the aforementioned items are not used in their beef, pork and lamb products.
According to the company, many consumers in Australia face confusion over meat labelling and do not necessarily understand the criteria for organic meat certification. Consumers, the company says, are increasingly on the hunt for free-range meat that is produced without the use of antibiotics, growth-enhancing drugs or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – but many are unaware that an organic meat label assures all of this.
“The new Cleaver’s labelling addresses this key point of confusion directly… We believe the new branding will help consumers to easily identify the clean and humanely produced meat with all of the benefits they are looking for,” said the company in a statement on 14 March.
Organic beef worth AU$198m
Cleaver’s organic range will include a large ‘grass fed’ sticker on the front of each pack to remind consumers that the animal was raised in a free-range environment that allowed it to roam freely in its paddock.
The organic labelling also makes it clear that the meat is free-range, as some consumers are unaware that the attainment of organic certification requires raising animals in a free-range environment.
“Our research and feedback is that consumers want a much clearer understanding of how their food is produced. We’ve focused on making it as easy as possible for shoppers to identify this,”said Alister Ferguson, CEO of Arcadian Organic, the parent company of Cleaver's.
“We welcome this demand from consumers and we’ve listened to their feedback on wanting better labelling to help them make more informed choices.”
According to a report from NGO Australian Organic in 2014 – a report that Cleaver’s sponsored – the organic beef sector is the second-fastest growing organic vertical, worth an estimated AU$198m ($148m).
The organic market in Australia is believed to be worth AU$1.72bn ($1.29bn), with growth of 15% expected for the forthcoming years, according to Australian Organic.