Food manufacturers in the EU may have to note the origin of certain ingredients on labelling, under a new proposed EU food marketing standards system.

The European Commission today (10 December) tabled a regulation enabling it, following consultation, to order such ingredient labelling – a memorandum said the dairy sector would be assessed first.

If EU ministers and the European Parliament approve these powers, Brussels could force manufacturers to declare the geographical origin of the milk, butter and cheese used in their products. The proposal says the Commission wants to authorise “mandatory labelling on place of farming at the appropriate geographical level… to satisfy consumers’ demands for transparency and information.”

EU agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos added: “Farmers…need the tools to better communicate about their products to consumers.”

The proposal is part of a so-called ‘quality package’ on boosting EU food production. Another change would simplify the EU’s legal protection for ‘traditional specialities’, insisting long-standing processed products are made by standardised methods, maybe in their traditional home region.