British meat processors battle mandatory labels

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, January 24, 2014

Meat processors in the UK are set against the mandatory origin labelling of meat used as an ingredient, according to the director of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Stephen Rossides.

Rossides' statement came after the European Commission's (EC's) report was published last month, which called for a debate about extending mandatory origin labelling of meat to meat that was used as an ingredient in food products. According to Rossides, labelling meat used as ingredients with its country of origin would be "onerous" and costly for the food industry.

The EC's report came after it implemented the country of origin labelling (COOL) rules for fresh pig, sheep, goats and poultry meat on 13 December 2013. The new legislation is set to apply from 1 April 2015.

Rossides said the BMPA was reasonably satisfied with mandatory labelling of fresh unprocessed meat. He said it was an intermediate approach and overall it is not as bad as it could have been.

Some food products that contained meat may be more complicated to origin label than others, he explained. If a product is made up of meat that comes from different member states, then the task becomes onerous and potentially costly. There needed to be a balance between what consumers wanted and how easy it was to provide that information, he added.

According to EC statistics, 90% of consumers asked are interested in origin labelling of meat as an ingredient. However, this number dropped to between 60 to 80% if it meant they had to pay 10% more for a product.
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