In the context of the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (1169/2011) the European Commission has published two reports on mandatory food origin labelling. As a conclusion, both reports show that the benefits from the new mandatory labelling requirements for these products do not clearly outweigh the costs and benefits and that the most suitable solution could be voluntary labelling rules.
As for the first report, written by the DG AGRI, it is focused on the feasibility of different options for mandatory origin labelling for dairy products and for minor meats (horsemeat, rabbit meat and meat from game and birds, both farmed and wild). The report concludes that, for dairy products this legislation is considered to be expensive and it is not clear that consumers want to pay more for additional information. Thus, it suggests that the existing options for voluntary labelling could address some consumer demands. As for the “minor meats” the report points at the additional operational costs added by the introduction of the compulsory labelling.
To read this first report, please click here.
The second report was managed by DG SANTE and explores the need for consumers to be informed on the origin of unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients that represent more than 50% of a food. Shortly, this report comes to highlight that consumers are interested in origin labelling for all this food categories, but less so for meat and dairy products. This report also analyses the costs and benefits of labelling rules, regarding the impact on the Market, both internal and international. The conclusion points at voluntary origin labelling combined with existing mandatory origin labelling regimes for specific foods or categories of food as the most suitable way to implement this regulation in the future.
To read this second report, please click here.
These two reports are now going to be transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council.
The conclusions of both reports are in favour of voluntary labelling rules, it thus reinforces the approach of Euromontana with the optional quality term for “mountain products”.1 June 2015