Clearer meat labelling laws introduced in Wales

Consumers in Wales will be given clearer information about where their fresh, chilled and frozen meat is sourced to help them buy British.

The Welsh government said it had introduced new EU rules relating to packaging of country of origin or place of provenance for fresh, chilled and frozen pigmeat, sheepmeat, goatmeat and poultrymeat.

From Monday (10 August), packaging on many fresh and frozen meat products must carry a country of origin, or place of provenance label to indicate where that animal was reared and slaughtered.

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Food businesses must also have an identification and registration system in place that ensures the link between the meat and the animal, to ensure proper traceability across the whole food chain.

Wales’ deputy minister for food and farming Rebecca Evans said: “Farmers and industry leaders have been raising the issue of clearer information on food labels with me for some time, so I am hopeful these new rules will go some way to improving the situation.

“In Wales we are working side by side with the industry to support our farmers through this challenging period and want to see that our producers are being rewarded for their quality produce.”

A report published by the European Commission in 2013 showed that 90% of consumers felt it was important that origin information was displayed on fresh and processed meats.

Tougher laws to make country-of-origin labelling mandatory were introduced across the EU in April and specific regulations to enable the same powers to apply in Wales came into force on Monday.

Beef, meanwhile, is subject to separate origin labelling rules, introduced earlier as part of the European Union’s BSE measures.

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