Ireland mulls meat-origin labelling

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

The Irish government believes there is 'clear' public support for stricter meat labelling
The Irish government believes there is 'clear' public support for stricter meat labelling

Related tags European union Lamb Pork Poultry

The Irish government has told the European Commission it intends to impose mandatory country-of-origin labelling on a host of fresh and frozen meat cuts.

Ireland’s Department of Agriculture is planning to roll out country-of-origin labelling (COOL) legislation on fresh, chilled and frozen non-prepacked cuts of meat from pigs, sheep, goats and chickens.

Under the new law, all food business operators (FBOs) will be required to show the ‘origin of rearing’ and the ‘origin of slaughter’ of certain meat products sold in Ireland. FBOs will need to clearly show both of these conditions for any pork, sheep, goat or poultry cuts sold at the respective point of presentation, sale or supply.

Ireland has always been a proponent of appropriate and balanced origin labelling in order to give consumers clear and concise information with regards to the food that they are purchasing,​” a spokesperson from Ireland’s Department of Agriculture said.

Ireland is required when bringing in national legislation of this type to notify the Technical Regulation Information System so that our colleagues across Europe are made aware of the upcoming changes that we intend to bring.​”

Support for COOL

The spokesperson stressed that it is “clear​” from government consultations with the public, held to gauge views on the proposed COOL legislation, that support was strong for stricter labelling. “Consumers would like this information available to them when they are buying their meat products at counters across the country,​” added the spokesperson.

News of the Ireland’s plans to adopt tighter COOL controls comes after Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine, signed a statutory instrument on 31 March 2015 to implement European Commission regulation. The signing of this, known to bureaucrats as EU regulation 1337/2013, lays down rules for EU Member states to adopt another statue – regulation 1169/2011.

The latter covers food information policy for consumers on the country of origin and provenance of prepacked fresh, chilled or frozen cuts of pork, poultry, goat or sheep meat.

Under Article 44 of the food Information for consumers’ policy, any EU Member State can implement measures to bring national laws on COOL for meats in line with EC requirements.

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