Journal article

The Meat in the Sandwich: Welfare Labelling and the Governance of Meat-chicken Production in Australia

Christine Parker, Rachel Carey, Gyorgy Scrinis

Journal of Law and Society | Wiley-Blackwell Publishing | Published : 2018


This article critically examines the degree to which higher-animal welfare label claims change animal welfare regulation and governance within intense meat-chicken ('broiler') production in Australia. It argues that ethical labelling claims on food and other products can be seen as a 'governance space' in which various government, industry and civil society actors compete and collaborate for regulatory impact. It concludes that ethical labelling can act as a pathway for re-embedding social concerns in the market, but only when it prompts changes that become enshrined in standard practice and possibly the law itself. Moreover, the changes wrought by ethical labelling are small and incremental..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Discovery Project

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the stakeholders interviewed for this research and Josephine De Costa, Geordie Fung, Joe Lasco, Adaena Sinclair-Blakemore, Zoe Jackson, and Laura Boehm for assistance in fieldwork and article preparation. This research was funded by Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP150102168, 'Regulating Food Labels: The Case of Free Range Food Products in Australia'.