The European Commission has announced it is to adopt new rules on the labelling origin of primary ingredients in food.
Its decision, endorsed by a vote of member states, means that from 1 April 2020 the origin of the primary ingredient must be indicated if it is different from the origin of the food “in order to not deceive consumers and to harmonise the presentation of such information”.
The EC said the new regulations on food information to consumers (FIC) will ensure a high level of transparency and provide European Union citizens with clear information about the origin of food sold on the EU market.
It said there will be a certain level of flexibility for food business operators in order to take into account the various methods of food processing.
The move has been on the cards for some time but initial consultation documents suggested such labelling changes might be voluntary.
Back in March, the UK food industry was warned it would need to comply with forthcoming rules of origin labelling changes to secure a free trade agreement for food items post-Brexit.
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Ian Wright, director general of the industry body the Food and Drink Federation said at the time: “Rules of origin are a big piece of the Brexit puzzle for the food and drink industry.”