EC requested animal welfare labelling report

by Editor
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The European Commission (EC) has established a working group entitled „Animal welfare labelling on products of animal origin“.

Andrea Gavinelli, the European Commission official who chaired the meeting, explained that following a unanimous vote in the EU Council of Ministers in May 2007, the Council invited the Commission to submit a report on all the aspects of future animal welfare labelling in order to allow an in-depth debate on this subject.

In the meantime, the European Commission has ordered a feasibility study from a consultancy established in Brussels, the Agra CEAS Consulting. Several representatives of the consortium set in place for that purpose, the so-called Food Chain Evaluation Consortium, were also present during the working group meeting on 21 April 2008.

The next step in the consultation will be a questionnaire which the consulting will send to the stakeholders in May.

Gavinelli underlined that the Commission initiative concerning animal welfare labelling is taking place totally apart from the Revision of the general food labelling legislation and of nutrition labelling. The Commission would at present not prepare any legal draft, but a report which should be available during the first quarter of 2009.

The report should contain several options, such as mandatoy versus voluntary labelling or total freedom of choice for the economic actors, possible standardisation schemes, certification, targets (e.g. exclusively fresh products such as meat, eggs of milk or also processed food) etc.