Scots MEP welcomes call to label meat products with country of origin

EU consumers may soon be able to identify if the meat in their burger has come from Scotland, Sweden or further afield, thanks to a new resolution passed by the European Parliament today.

MEPs have approved the resolution that states processed meat will have to include a label stating where the animal was raised and slaughtered, which MEPs hope will help to rebuild consumer confidence in the wake of the 2013 horsemeat scandal.

Alyn Smith MEP, Scotland’s only voice on the EU Agricultural Committee, welcomed the move.

Alyn said:

“This is essentially the processors being encouraged to simplify their supply chain and ensure the raw materials they receive are authentic and traceable. Put simply, this is what they should have been doing all along.

“We already label fresh beef, and from April this will apply to fresh meat from pigs, sheep, poultry and goats. So why not ravioli and lasagne? 

“This will help to ensure stability between farmers and processors, and means consumers can easily choose to buy local produce instead of meat that’s been transported hundreds of miles. 

Pauline Constant of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) added:

“Being transparent by saying where the meat comes from can benefit not only consumers but also the food industry. One should keep in mind the cost of lost consumer confidence. The sales of frozen ready meals dropped in the aftermath of the horsemeat scandal, costing industry a lot of money. A more transparent meat supply chain might be the price to pay to restore consumer trust.

“Our French member UFC-Que Choisir found out that labelling beef’s origin on a pack of frozen lasagne would only cost €0.015 more (1.5 cent). This is far from representing a huge burden.”