New food labelling push by 14-country consumer organisation

The Brussels-based umbrella consumer organisation, BEUC, has launched a campaign urging policy makers to consider mandatory country of origin labelling for processed meat products such as sausages, ham and ravioli.

The campaign, called “Where is my meat from?” is backed by consumer groups from 14 countries drawn together under the representative umbrella of BEUC (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs). Campaign publicity shows several meat sector images including one focusing on pigs (pictured). The declared aim is to “demystify our meat’s origin” by securing mandatory “Country of Origin Labelling” (COOL).

“When meat-related scandals hit the headlines, consumers’ trust in meat plunges,” said BEUC. “One can’t blame them. As transparency is the basis of a trusting relationship, we believe making the meat supply chain more transparent is crucial to the restoration of consumers’ lost confidence in meat.

“Origin labelling should be part of the solution. Research has shown that 90% of consumers want to know where their meat comes from. Still, you can have a hard time finding out the origin of the meat in your burger or ready-meal. Only a handful of manufacturers voluntarily display this information.

“As consumers’ voices have been unheard by EU decision makers until now, our campaign intends to turn the tide and finally make origin labels the norm on processed meat products.”

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