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Are Woolworths organic dairy labels lying to us?

Are Woolworths cows as free-range as their labelling suggests.

09 Sep 2014

A few months ago the Travelwrite blog called Woolworths out on their GMO and organic labelling. In fresh claims, contributor Sonia de Villiers, an activist for the Grass Consumer Action Group, has leveled serious accusations that Woolworths has lied to its consumers about dairy labels, and particularly about the well-being of the cows.

The concern is over the way the free-range cows are treated, but also that Woolworths charge their customers premium prices based on the hype around their free-range and organic status - a status that is now in question.

The false Woolworths labelling according to Grass is as follows:

1. The original Woolworths Ayrshire dairy label depicted a cow in a field. The marketing campaign supported this image via television advertisements depicting idyllic pasture scenes filmed on KwaZulu Natal farms with cows grazing on grass.

2. Their next label stated: “Ayrshire milk is as nature intended”. Cows that behave “naturally” slowly graze on pasture and ruminate.

3. Woolworths then switched their marketing slogan to “Loved Cows” with a picture of a cow bearing a heart.

4. Woolworths claims the cows roam freely.

Grass have also called Woolworths on the practice of calf de-horning.

To read the claims and the findings of Grass click here.

The blog, with dozens of comments, has been causing a huge stir on social media with many outraged consumers posting and sharing it on their Facebook accounts.

Woolworths has responded on the allegations on its website answering questions over: the welfare of the animals, the open barn and pasture claims, calf de-horning and the changes in their labels. The statement says the labels referred to in the blog are old and that Woolworths updates their labels for a number of reasons, one of those being 'changes to sourcing, producers and production requirements'. 

To read the Woolworths response click here.

Whether Woolworths are guilty or not of mistreating cows and misleading their consumers, we feel that it is important that groups such as Grass keep on investigating issues around organic labelling so that above all, the animals are protected as well as they are claimed to be, and the consumer, paying a premium price for that assurance, is not duped.

What are your thoughts?

Article source: Are we being milked?

Read more on: dairy  |  woolworths

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