Brussels, 28 December 2001
New beef labelling rules more information for consumers from 1 January 2002.
From January 1, 2002, the rules for compulsory beef labelling will be tightened. In order to give the consumers more detailed information on the beef they are buying. Compared to the existing legislation, the beef label will now have to include in addition to the place of fattening, slaughtering and cutting also precise information about where the animal was born and reared. Commenting on the new rules, Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, declared: "This marks an important step in enabling full traceability of cattle in the EU. The new labelling rules shall also contribute to further restore the consumer's confidence in beef." David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection stated: "Consumers now have the guarantee of the origin of beef from the farm to a supermarket or a butcher shop. This contributes to consumer choice and confidence."
From January 2002, the label has to contain the following indications:
Where the beef is derived from animals born, raised and slaughtered
For minced beef the label must contain:
After receiving permission from Member State authorities, operators are free to decide to give further information, such as the indication of the meat categories.