The current legislative framework in place regarding origin labelling ensures that misleading origin statements are not made and that consumers are accurately informed. Origin labelling is mandatory for several foods (e.g. honey, fish and meat), and for all other categories, when the absence of such information may mislead the consumer.

A recent development in origin labelling policy covers the new requirement to declare the origin of a food’s primary ingredient if different to that of the food’s given origin (applicable as of 1 April 2020).

Food businesses are also able to declare voluntary origin statements. Where it is feasible to do so and where there is proven consumer demand, this information may be shared in a range of ways, from on pack labels to digital channels. The voluntary nature of these origin declarations builds on the current legislation to provide clear information for consumers, and do not unnecessarily restrict supply chains, nor impose additional costs to consumer.

Updates & milestones

Mandatory primary ingredient origin labelling if different from food

Update

New labelling legislation on when and how to declare the origin of a product’s primary ingredient came into force in the UK and EU on 1 April 2020. The new rules are that, where the origin of a food is given and where this is not the same as that of its primary ingredient, then the primary ingredient’s origin needs to be declared or statement that it differs. 'Primary ingredient' means an ingredient or ingredients of a food that represent more than 50 % of that food or which are usually associated with the name of the food by the consumer and for which in most cases a quantitative indication is required [FIC Article 2(2)(q)].

Further information: FDF origin labelling toolkit

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