New EU labelling laws cause financial concerns

New EU labelling laws cause financial concerns

The European Union has recently passed a new set of rules concerning how food manufacturers label their products. The new ruling covers information regarding the country of origin information supplied on packaging, especially with regards to fresh meat. Suppliers of catering supplies are keeping a keen eye on the news to see how it will affect them.

Currently there is a loophole in the law which allows companies to label a meat product as being British, even though the meat itself has only been processed in the UK. With the new regulations, this will no longer be allowed as is already the case with beef, olive oil and honey among other products.

The idea behind these regulations is that customers will have a better idea of where their product is coming from. Ultimately it is hoped that this will mean customers will choose British meat from British farms rather than meat which may have been processed in the UK, but comes from animals bred overseas.

The concern for food producers and manufacturers is that the change of packaging will cost up to £7000 per product, as well as additional costs for training staff. The new regulations are expected to come into place in October, giving British food manufacturers prior notice which may help them make the changes necessary.

However, this may not be the end of new EU food labelling regulations. Many in the industry believe that this may just be the start when it comes to telling UK food producers what they can and can`t put on their labels.

Future changes may include details regarding the nutritional make up of food to be presented in tabular form. This would include details regarding levels of fats and especially saturated fat, as well as carbohydrate, sugar and salt.