The European Court of Justice (ECJ) may dismiss an attempt by a German poultry producer to label products with the term “reared under controlled conditions”.

Competitor Gebrüder Stolle GmbH had claimed Heidegold Geflügelspezialitäten GmbH thus enjoyed “an unlawfully acquired competitive advantage”. It said they were banned under European Union (EU) regulation 1906/90 ‘on marketing standards for poultrymeat’, which orders a restricted list of terms describing farming methods, such as ‘barn reared’ and ‘free range’.

This does not include Heidegold’s terminology, but the company argued “controlled conditions” referred to processing and storage methods, something rejected by ECJ advocate general Francis Jacobs, whose opinion is likely to be formally approved.