Any claims regarding organic farming standards or marks need to make clear what specific standards apply, and be careful not to exaggerate the benefits of a particular system.
Marketers should not claim that animals raised organically are better provided for than they are, and should take care to ensure claims do not go further than the evidence held. The Advertising Standards Authority (asa) upheld complaints against an ad which was considered to make a claim that organically farmed animals experienced better conditions than non-organically farmed animals because, although the advertiser provided evidence which showed that organically farmed animals experienced high animal welfare conditions, the ASA did not consider that it showed that in all cases, organically farmed animals experienced better conditions than non-organically farmed animals (Organic Trade Board t/a Why I Love Organic, 13 July 2011). See also Farming Methods.
Absolute statements regarding animal welfare must be backed up with evidence. An ad which claimed that none of the advertiser’s cows suffered from mastitis was found to be misleading because the advertiser did not supply the ASA with evidence to substantiate the claim (HaLove, 1 May 2013).
Marketers wishing to make environmental claims alongside claims of organic farming/welfare are urged to read Section 11: Environmental Claims of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code and Environmental Claims: General guidance, and ensure that they base their claims on the entire life cycle of the product. Marketers are also reminded that they should hold evidence for their specific product and for the specific claim that they are making, and be aware that claiming to use “organic farming” methods alone may not be enough to substantiate claims of a product’s positive environmental benefit (Arla Foods Ltd, 7 June 2017).
Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the ASA. CAP’s AdviceOnline entries provide guidance on interpreting the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing.
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