The trial against Danish Crown starts today
The wait has been years long, but on Monday the trial against Danish Crown, brought by the Danish Vegetarian Association and the Climate Movement in Denmark, starts. The two associations accuse Danish Crown of false marketing in connection with the "Climate controlled pig" campaign.
In June 2021, the Danish Vegetarian Association and the Climate Movement in Denmark filed a lawsuit against Danish Crown for breach of the Marketing Act in connection with a campaign with the wording "climate-controlled pig", including the use of the statement "Danish pig is more climate-friendly than you think".
The background for the campaign was that all Danish Crown's farmers had set themselves CO2 reduction targets.
The "climate-controlled pig" campaign was therefore a way of communicating that the farmers who supply pigs to Danish Crown are actively working to lower their CO2 footprint, and that there is external control of the achievement of that work.
The court case is solely about the single marketing campaign from 2020. At the same time, however, Danish Crown believes that the case is of principle because it can set a precedent for companies' right to communicate about their sustainability initiatives.
"At Danish Crown, we invest massively in sustainability, and if we and other companies are to see the idea of investing billions of kroner, we must be able to turn those investments into good business. We do this precisely by telling consumers about our climate measures – and thus differentiate ourselves from our competitors. At the same time, we owe the increasing number of consumers who demand more sustainability a clear answer to what they put in the shopping basket. Our sustainability initiatives are part of that answer", says Morten Pedersen, head of sustainability at Danish Crown.
The two associations do not recognize that the Climate Road is such a strong program that you can call meat climate-controlled. Therefore, they have accused Danish Crown of false marketing.
The trial is scheduled for six court days, spread over three days in November (20-22) and three days in December (4-6). The verdict is expected to be ready by February 2024 at the latest.
"Whether we have been too eager to tell consumers about our climate measures is for the court to decide, but this is a three-year-old campaign which, in isolation, may have been in breach of the Marketing Act. It has nothing to do with our sustainability program, which on the contrary has been developed and improved since the campaign. At Danish Crown, we have set ourselves some concrete goals to reduce CO2 emissions, and all our farmers have committed to a wide range of sustainability initiatives. This is the fact we would like to keep telling consumers", says Morten Pedersen.
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