Snack implications? EU parliament votes to mandate meat origin labels

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Commission must now decide whether to write the motion to mandate meat origin labeling in Europe into law
The Commission must now decide whether to write the motion to mandate meat origin labeling in Europe into law

Related tags: European union

The European Snack Association (ESA) remains concerned over possible mandates on EU meat origin labeling after European parliament today voted in favor of the motion.

The parliamentary vote under the Food Information for Consumers (FIC) regulation comes just weeks after the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) committee submitted its notion in favor of mandatory country of origin labeling for meat in Europe. The European Commission will now be left to decide whether to write the motion into law.

Marta de la Cera, regulatory and scientific affairs manager at the ESA, said there was little to add at this stage, other than insist on previous concerns​.

“We are concerned that requests for mandatory country of origin labeling fail to acknowledge the complex supply chains involved in the production of processed foods such as savory snacks – particularly in the case of very small amounts of flavorings,”​ she said.

De la Cera previously told this site snack makers often used less than 1% of meat in flavorings.

Adding multi-million costs

She said that such mandates on meat origins would prove extremely costly for manufacturers.

“Mandatory origin provisions would cause severe difficulties for manufacturers who source and purchase ingredients from multiple origins, according to factors such as availability or seasonal variations. Such a move would add significant multi-million euro costs to the manufacturing operation, which consumers are not necessarily willing to pay, according with the results of the Commission report.”

The ESA continued to support the motion for voluntary country of origin labeling, she said, so it can be based on consumer interest and willingness to pay the price, as well as operational feasibility.

Negotiations?

Speaking to the site when the ENVI committee filed its initial notion to parliament, De la Cera said that should the notion pass the plenary vote, there “may be some room to negotiate”.

ESA had been working to pool information and data from its members, she said, to better understand how each company used meat ingredients – concrete data that could ultimately be brought forward to the Commission. 

Related topics: Snacks, Regulation & Safety, Ingredients

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