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Friday, May 27, 2022

Food “from the region”: clear rules are required

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Berlin (dpa) – Clear rules are needed for the designation of origin of food from the region. “If carrots are advertised as a regional product, they shouldn’t be grown 500 kilometers from the supermarket,” said Christiane Seidel of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers.

To date, terms such as “region” or “regional” have not been clearly defined by law or subject to specific and uniform requirements, criticize consumer advocates.

Solution for the whole EU?

Therefore, they ask the European Commission to establish uniform minimum standards for regional identification. Future food origin and regional labeling should be easy to understand, uniform, comparable and binding, he said. “Anyone who buys ‘eggs from our farmers’ in Brandenburg shouldn’t have eggs from the Netherlands in their basket,” Seidel said.

The consumer advocate suggests labeling a product’s country of origin, such as Germany or France, on all foods. The country of origin is already mandatory for many foods. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, and fresh meat.

indication of origin for more products?

Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) is campaigning at EU level for an expansion of mandatory origin labels. He and his Austrian counterpart, Elisabeth Köstinger, also launched an initiative calling on the EU Commission, among other things, to swiftly come up with a proposal for more comprehensive origin labelling.

It is part of an EU Commission strategy for more sustainable agriculture (“Farm to Fork”/”Farm to Plate”), he explained. Accordingly, an extension of the mandatory indication of origin to products such as milk and milk as an ingredient, meat as an ingredient, rice or tomatoes in certain tomato products should be considered.

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