New EU Meat Labelling Rules Come into Force

EU - New rules on the labelling of fresh, chilled and frozen meat (from sheep, goats, pigs and poultry) will apply from 1 April 2015.
calendar icon 1 April 2015
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The rules require the label to indicate the country which the animal was "reared in" and "slaughtered in".

If animals were born, raised and slaughtered in the same country, then the label can simply state the "origin" country.

Agreed by Member States in December 2013, the new rules were required under the Food Information for Consumers Regulation of 2011.

They reflect the consumer interest above all in the place where animals are farmed while avoiding a major additional burden and costs for the supply chain.

A Which? online survey of 2791 UK adults in January found that nine in ten people think that country of origin labelling for red meat is important (87 per cent) and 87 per cent also thought this was important for poultry.

The same percentage also thought it was important for meat products such as burgers and sausages.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said: "Our research shows most people want to know where their food comes from so new EU rules requiring country of origin labelling on all meat, not just beef, from today is a welcome move.

"But we also found that consumers want to know about the origin of meat products such as burgers or sausages too. We think consumers should be given the information they need to make informed choices when shopping for meat products."

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