UK food businesses, including supermarkets and processors, should do more voluntarily to improve country of origin labeling, said the UK’s Food Minister Jim Paice.
On a visit to the town of Melton Mowbray, home of the Melton Mowbray pork pie, Paice said he wanted to see improved country of origin labeling, particularly for meat and dairy products where confusion can most easily occur.
The origin labeling of meat, meat products such as pies and ready-meals and dairy products tend to be the most confusing for consumers to understand. Improving labeling for consumers to make it clear where their food comes from is a key objective for the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in developing a voluntary agreement with the industry.
A good practice code already exists within the pig meat industry with many major companies committed to minimum standards on origin labeling, product definitions and breed names on labels.
While the Defra has said it would prefer industry to respond voluntarily to consumer demand for better origin labeling, it will also be pressing for the option of compulsion to be kept open.