Most of us are interested in knowing where our meat comes from. That’s why we’re working with other European consumer orgs to ensure you know the full journey of your meat, not just a slice of it.
As our chief policy adviser, Sue Davies, noted back in February, the majority of people (90%) want to know where their meat comes from. Christina told us ‘I believe it is imperative we are told the exact origin and lifetime of our meat’.
We saw trust in meat drop after the horsemeat scandal. We believe making the meat supply chain more transparent is crucial to restoring consumers’ lost confidence in meat. William put it well in a comment on Sue’s Convo:
‘I think last year’s horse meat scandal, for which I’ve still not heard anyone being prosecuted, has shown that it’s currently too easy to pass off one meat for another.
‘Under current legislation I have no faith in where the meat comes from, as it depends how you say the word British on the packaging to mean from here, or assembled here.’
Can we trust our meat?
Following the publication of the Elliott Report into the horsemeat scandal, we’ll see many changes introduced to help tackle food fraud. But there’s still a gap – origin labelling on meat products.
Only a handful of manufacturers voluntarily display information on the origin of the meat in their products. Manufacturers would also have to keep a much tighter grip on their supply chain if they had to indicate the origin of meat in their products.
New EU labelling rules, which will come into effect from April 2015, will add country of origin labels to fresh pig, poultry, sheep and goat meat. However, this will not include the birth place of these meats, just where it was reared and slaughtered. Moreover, there are no plans to make origin labelling compulsory for meat in processed in foods.
Origin labelling on processed meat
We don’t think it should be difficult to find out if your burger is British, or whether your lasagne was lovingly prepared in a factory with beef from Poland. And we’re not the only ones. We’ve come together with our colleagues in consumer organisations across Europe to jointly campaign for mandatory country of origin labelling on processed meat products such as sausages, ham and lasagne.
It’s now time for your voice to be heard, so we’re working with our friends across Europe to break the silence and lobby for changes to the law. Origin labels should be the norm on processed meat products.
Do you trust your meat? Do you think manufacturers and supermarkets should display the origin of meat on the packaging?