Ireland notifies Commission of intention to mandatory label certain meats

The Government has notified the European Commission of its intention to adopt national measures to cover mandatory origin labelling of fresh, chilled and frozen non prepacked from pigs, sheep, goats and chicken.

The Commission’s Technical Regulation Information System received notification of the proposed labelling changes from Ireland last week.

The legislation will require Food Business Operators (FBOs) to clearly show the “country of rearing” and “country of slaughter” of any of the these products at either the point of presentation, point of sale or the point of supply.

On March 31, 2015 the former Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, signed Statutory Instrument 113 of 2015 to give effect to Commission implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1337/2013.

According to the Department, this lays down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 (Food Information for Consumers (FIC)) as regards the indication of the country of origin or place of provenance of prepacked fresh, chilled or frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry.

Under Article 44 of the FIC Member States may implement National Measures to bring loose, or non-prepacked, meats into line with the requirements of 1337/2013, the Department said.

A spokesperson for the Department said that 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.

“It is clear from the public consultation that was undertaken with regards to this legislation that consumers would like this information available to them when they are buying their meat products at counters across the country.

“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,” the spokesperson said.