The European consumers’ association BEUC is preparing to challenge current meat labelling regulations with its new campaign Where Is My Meat From? “Horsegate showed the weaknesses in the European retail supply chain and we want proper Country Of Origin Labelling (COOL) to address this issue,” BEUC communications officer Pauline Constant told ARC2020.
The campaign message will be delivered to a food and health hearing of the European Parliament later this month, when the appropriate commissioner will learn the extent of public concern over the origins of meat in the European food industry. BEUC is aware that the food industry’s immediate response is likely to be a barrage of bewildered complaints that such a policy is too complicated and difficult to implement. “This shouldn’t be seen as a problem to overcome, but an opportunity to restore public confidence in the meat industry. It would be a win-win situation,” explains Constant.
While current EU legislation only requires COOL for fresh beef, partial provenance data will be required for other species from April 2015. The BEUC campaign is demanding full provenance for meat products as well as fresh meat. While the food industry can be expected to resist any attempts to impose transparency on its procurement practices, it would be a positive selling point for local food circuits and makers of Protected Geographic Indication products.
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