COOL Will Not Include 'Country of Origin'14 October 2013
EU - The European Commission's solution to honest-labelling demands from politicians and consumers, is to propose a scheme for country of origin labelling that will not include country of origin, according to the UK's National Pig Association.
NPA's Digby Scott said the Commission says that including the country-of-birth of pigs, sheep and poultry on the label would be too expensive.
So it is proposing that only the last period of rearing need be given, along with country of slaughter.
This approach will delight German pig finishers, who import millions of Danish and Dutch weaners every year. It means as long as the pigs have been in the country for two months, the meat can be labelled as German.
And if the Netherlands decides to pursue its earlier attempt to sell large quantities of weaners to Britain, the meat will be classed as "United Kingdom". It might even lay claim to British assurance scheme branding.
The Brussels plan will do little to satisfy consumer demands for shorter supply chains, following Horsegate, and little to improve transparency.
Brussels will start selling its bewildering concept of "origin" labelling to member countries next week at a management committee meeting with industry representatives from member countries.
It will claim that requiring mandatory country of birth labelling (as happens with beef) would require new traceability systems at farm level, creating unnecessary cost for producers and consumers.
It will also suggest a derogation for third countries to indicate "non-EU" for place of rearing where the information is unavailable. A further exemption would cover minced meat and trimmings, which could use "EU" and "non-EU" labels.
TheMeatSite News Desk