The results of a premium meat market study by the Organic Council of Ontario (OCO), released this week, show that there is clear consumer interest in local organic meat products. Some meat labels, however, are competing with organic for the highest price despite a lack of clear definitions and regulatory oversight.
OCO collected retail prices of 1341 meat products from over 30 premium meat retailers across Toronto and the GTA from August to December 2018, as part of a project to understand the regulations, marketability, consumer awareness and demand for various premium meat labels. The project was funded by the Greenbelt Fund.
The final report includes a comprehensive review of standards and regulations for method of production claims for meat and dairy, as well as the results from a retailer survey, which looked at the prevalence and customer perception of various production-based labels. Finally, the report analyzes the retail prices, comparing the organic premium to other labels.
“There is virtually no pricing or market data available for organic and premium meat products - critical information for organic businesses to grow and thrive,” says Carolyn Young, Executive Director of the Organic Council of Ontario. “Organic producers have higher costs and more oversight, but our report shows competing labels may be negatively impacting organic premiums. We need greater public education and regulation when it comes to meat labels, especially for claims that are fetching a higher price without requiring the same level of investment and oversight.”
OCO’s next steps will be to release a series of consumer education materials on various animal production claims. Proceeds from the report sales will also support further pricing collection and research.
The report highlights can be downloaded for free from OCO’s website, while the full report and pricing data are available for purchase. The report was sponsored by True Foods, Pro-Cert and The Healthy Butcher.Source : exchangemagazine