Pastured, Free-Range, All Natural and More: Making Sense of Production Claims

In the meat, poultry and dairy sections at the grocery store, you are bombarded with information and production claims. “All natural”



Overwhelmed, you may end up choosing your products based on other factors such as price. However, with a little extra knowledge, you can understand the differences between some of the most common production claims. Here are some helpful definitions:

All Natural

This means there are no artificial ingredients in the product such as colourants, artificial flavours or synthetic substances. However, this term isn’t regulated in Canada, so it’s up to you to trust the brand’s word.


This means that the animals haven’t been caged their entire lives. However, this could mean that they are enclosed with many other animals in a very small space, which is hardly ideal.

Free Range

Ideally, free range means the animals are allowed to roam and graze outdoor. However, there are no requirements for how long the animal is allowed to be outdoors or the type of environment required to claim this label. There are a wide range of practices that could qualify as “free range,” from how we do it here at Spragg’s with plenty of outdoor space and foraging, to enclosed spaces packed with animals. It’s best if you get more details.


A bit more specific, pastured means the animals should be allowed to roam and forage outdoors. There are no specifications detailing how long the animals should have access to this sort of environment in order to use this label.


This label is stringently regulated and does not permit the usage of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, or growth hormones, among other things, during production.

We hope you found this breakdown of common production claims helpful. If you have any questions about how Spragg’s Meat Shop’s pork products are produced, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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About Spragg’s Meat Shop Spragg’s Meat Shop is a family-owned and operated business located in Rosemary, Alberta. Greg and Bonnie Spragg raise hogs, process, and market their pork products direct to Albertan consumers. Spragg’s works hard to produce the best pork for Albertans, from the day the pigs are born, to the day the pork chops are cut, bacon is smoked, and the roast is marinated. The Spragg family hopes that you get as much enjoyment eating their pork as they do getting it to your table.