Country of Origin Food Labelling Requirements

Molly Colbert

November 8, 2021

This week social media went into meltdown over the labelling of a supermarket poultry product.

The reason, EU labelling requirements.

This labelling question was raised after a number of customers complained about the labelling of a salt and pepper chicken crown product as containing "non-EU salt and pepper"

In April 2020, new rules were implemented in regards to the criteria for the country of origin and place of provenance labelling.

Food business operators (FBOs) are required to provide an indication on the country of origin or place of provenance. If failure to do so, the consumer may be misled from the true country of origin or place of provenance.

The requirements to label the origin, is due to a presence of an indication to an origin or provenance is given, including in words, pictures and symbols such as monuments or in this case, a British flag and the emphasis of British Chicken.

Before April 2020, the country of origin/place of provenance had to be stated if the packaging contained misleading imagery or text to imply the food came from somewhere that it did not. However, the new regulations in April 2020 says the primary ingredient within a product will need the country of origin/place of provenance to be stated.

What is a primary ingredient?

A primary ingredient makes up 50% or more of a product. Additionally, the name used is normally in connection to the primary ingredient.

The country of origin/place of provenance of the primary ingredient needs to be stated if it differs from the given or implied origin on the product as a whole.  

A products primary ingredient could be shown within the name of the product. For example, chicken pie may made up by 50% of flour but as chicken is within the name, the origin/place of the chicken will need to be stated on the packaging to not mislead the customer.  

What are FBOs required to do?

Products sold by FBOs which have the country of origin or place of provenance stated or there is an indication that the primary ingredient origin is different to the rest of the food, will fall into the scope of the legislation.  

The information is required to be shown in the same field of vision as the country of origin information of the product.

What can we do for FBOs?

NT Assure have a team of highly qualified regulatory consultants which is dedicated to providing accurate labelling information.

We also offer a software solution Smart Supplier, which is a software as a service (SaaS). This can hold all product specifications within a cloud-based system.

Smart Supplier is a product specification management solution which will manage all product in one place, such as the country of origin or place of provenance for each ingredient and product.

This enables origin information to be easily stored for all products from each supplier. If a client has hundreds of products from hundreds of varying suppliers, Smart Supplier will configure all the data into an easy read database format.

Having the product information is backed up, ensures reliable marketing claims on pack copies and compliancy with legislation, such as country of origin. Having this assurance gives the brand confidence whilst keeping consumers safe.

For more information or to speak with a member of our team, email or ring 01933 272089 📞

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