Country of Origin Labelling
FDF fully supports the requirements of the Labelling Directive to ensure that
misleading statements of origin are not made but considers any extension of the
legislation to require origin labelling would be burdensome to achieve;
costs; contribute little to improving consumer information; further complicate
the label; and would have no impact on food safety.
In particular, FDF considers that there should be no mandatory requirement to
origin labelling for single ingredients (other than meat, poultry or fish) or
the ingredients of composite products due to the complexity, and necessary
flexibility, in sourcing many ingredients, particularly seasonal ingredients,
a consistent supply of appropriate quantity and quality. It would be completely
impractical to require variant labels to meet all such circumstances and would
reduce consumer choice by making manufacture of many products uneconomical.
FDF supports the voluntary actions of food manufacturers in responding to
consumer led interest for specific origin information, on or off pack and we
working with the supply chain, facilitated by Defra, on the development of voluntary principles on country of origin labelling. These voluntary principles build on the current legislation to provide even
clearer labelling for consumers.
Articles 2 and 3 of Directive 2000/13/EC on the labelling, presentation and
advertising of foodstuffs require manufacturers to ensure that consumers are
misled with regard to, inter alia, origin or provenance of a food product and,
specifically, that details on the place of origin or provenance of a product
be indicated whenever failure to give such details might mislead the consumer
to the true origin or provenance of the product. Beyond this requirement not to
mislead, country of origin labelling is voluntary. Article 3 also requires the
name and address of the manufacturer or packer or seller established within the
Community to be indicated on the product. The Labelling Directive is
in the UK by the Food Labelling Regulations (FLR) 1996 (as amended). Similar
rules have been established at an international level under the Codex
Country of origin labelling is currently being discussed at a UK and EU level
the context of the EC proposal for a Regulation on the provision of food
information to consumers. It is unclear at this stage if there will be any
the current requirements.
Manufacturers are also able to make additional voluntary indications as to the
origin of their products or of certain ingredients, if appropriate and not
misleading. Consumers can also obtain information on product and/or ingredient
from manufacturers by various off-label means.
In addition, Regulation 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 establishes EU rules for protecting designations of origin and
geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs intended for
human consumption. Under these arrangements, the registered product name will
given protection against imitation across the EU and may carry a
Country of origin labelling for the purposes of consumer information should not
be confused with Rules of Origin for the purposes of Customs classification.
This is subject to a completely separate regime. Care should be taken when
considering whether a “substantial change” for the purposes of the latter can
different origin declaration for food labelling purposes, particularly where
this involves only light processing.
Last reviewed: 22 Apr 2013