Court rules Danish Crown’s “climate-controlled pork” misleading consumers


(Photo: Danish Crown website)

Denmark’s high court has ruled that Danish Crown, Europe’s largest pork producer, deceived customers through its “climate-controlled pork” campaign, marks the first climate lawsuit in the country.

The alleged greenwashing case was initially raised by the Danish Vegetarian Association and the Climate Movement in Denmark back in 2020, asserting that the company’s pink stickers label on products packaging, coupled with a marketing campaign claiming their pork was “more climate friendly than you think”, was misleading and created a false impression.

This group of nonprofit organizations contended that Danish Crown violated section five of the Danish Marketing Practices Act, prohibited to use the contested phrases in future marketing, as well as insisted in correcting their marketing campaign wording.

Denmark’s Western High Court ruled that the designation of “climate-controlled pig” has violated specific section, constituting misleading marketing on Mar. 1. Danish Crown has been ordered to pay 300,000 kroner (about USD 44,000) and to publicly acknowledge that it breached marketing laws.

Jens Hansen, a spokesperson for the company expressed that the company had no intention to mislead its customer, instead “rather to talk about all the measures we and our farmers take every single day to reduce the climate footprint of our products.”

In response to this, the General Secretary of Vegetarian Society of Denmark and one of the plaintiffs, Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl stated that, “today’s verdict sends a resounding message, not only within Denmark but throughout the Europe, that misleading marketing tactics cannot hide behind the shield of freedom of speech.”

Danish Crown, governed by over 6,000 Danish farmers, has committed to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions both from production and logistics by 2030, and aims to achieve “climate neutrality” in meat production by 2050.

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