The European Commission has announced a new initiative affecting the rules on labelling the origin of primary ingredients in food. The new rules, voted for by the member states means that the origin of the primary ingredient in a given food item must be clearly marked if it is different from the origin of the food.
This new rule will come into force from 1st April 2020 and is designed to not deceive consumers and to synchronise the labelling of ingredient information throughout the member states. The European Commission said that the new rules would help to ensure a high level of transparency and provide EU consumers with clear information about the origin of food and ingredients sold in the EU.
The new rules have been discussed for some time, but it is initially thought the labelling changes will be voluntary in the beginning, however, for brands wanting to use the new labelling system it would be mandatory to specify the origin of the main ingredient if it is different from the country of the food. There will also be a certain amount of flexibility to the new rules to take into account the different methods of food processing adopted throughout the EU.
Earlier this year, the UK food industry was told that it would have to with any forthcoming rules regarding origin labelling to continue a free trade agreement for food produce post-Brexit.