Changes are coming from the Ministry of Agriculture as regards methods for the application of regulations for voluntary beef labelling. The website of the Ministry in fact has published Decree n° 876 dated 16 January, currently undergoing prior legitimacy verification with the National Auditing Office; it will come into force on the day following publication in the Official Gazette, which governs the topic already defined down in Article 15 bis of EU Regulation n° 1760.
The aim is to ensure optimal marketing communication and maximum transparency of certain optional information about this type of meat, the production centre and animal feed. The same information may also refer to products based on beef.
More precisely, labels on pre-packaged and pre-wrapped packaging of this kind of meat will indicate the breed and genetic type of the animal, the kind of production centre where the animal was born and reared with all information about feed and any medical treatments and, lastly, everything one must know about slaughtering / butchering as well as an indication of the hanging period. The text envisages an identification and registration system applied in order to ensure that all information corresponds to the type of animal.
The Ministry itself is the organ responsible for monitoring correct application of the regulations governing voluntary beef labelling, while the National Health Service retains responsibility for health-hygiene issues. The decree also specifies that the costs for monitoring voluntary labelling shall be borne by the operator or the organization applying the regulations. Misleading or unclear information is not allowed.
Lastly, meat labelled with the voluntary information envisaged by European regulations from other EU countries can freely circulate in Italy. However, all compulsory and voluntary information must be provided.
Source: Eurocarne Outlook