November 17, 2020

 

EU's evaluation of origin-labeling for meat determines rules' effectiveness and relevance

 

 

The European Union has recently published its evaluation of origin labeling for meat.

 

The evaluation assesses whether the rules on food information to consumers in regards to the mandatory origin labeling for pigs, sheep, goats and poultry as applied in Members States are effective, efficient, coherent, relevant and bring EU added value in view of its objectives, current needs and problems.

 

The assessment report features three options: The simple option of labeling the origin as EU / third country according to where the animal was reared and/or slaughtered; the intermediate option of featuring labeling of Member State or third country of both rearing and slaughter; the last option of mirroring the labeling scheme already in force for beef for more than 10 years.

 

Option 2 appears to be the most suitable of the three, providing consumers with meaningful information while, at the same time, not creating disproportionate burdens for all the actors concerned, the European Commission said.

 

The pig sector would see an approximately 1.15% increase of the wholesale price. The extra cost was found to be mainly transmitted to consumers (90%). Thus, the meat price would increase. Trade flows would be affected marginally. As a result of higher prices, there would be lower consumption in the EU. Hence, more would need to be exported for the products in surplus (pig and poultry meat) and less sheep meat would be imported.

 

A mandatory label on meat packaging that informs about the place of rearing and slaughtering was adopted by the European Commission in December of 2013 (Regulation 1337/2013). It lays down rules regarding the indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry, which entered into force on April 1, 2015.

 

- European Commission