No more anonymity for fresh pork, lamb and goat meat. As of 1 April 2015, labelling of these products will become compulsory even in Italy, which thereby adapts to Community Regulation 1169 dated 2011 concerning the provision of food information to consumers that requires the indication of the country of origin of fresh and frozen products made with these kinds of meat.
This is an important result, especially as regards the protection of Made in Italy: as Coldiretti explains – engaged for more than ten years in the front line of the battle for transparency – to ensure purchases of authentic Italian products, consumers must choose meat identified by the “Origin Italy” wording. This indicates that all stages, from breeding to slaughter, were performed in Italy itself.
The legislation still excludes pork processed into delicatessen meats and meat from rabbits and horses. This is a shortcoming in the legislation for which a solution must be found as soon as possible, since – according to Coldiretti – two hams out of three are made with meat from foreign pigs. Any obligation concerning origin for such products will depend on the impact studies that the European Commission is carrying forward and subsequent policy reviews by Member States.
All other types of meat as of this date will have a full-scale identity card which will indicate the place of breeding and the origin of livestock. Specific cases are also planned as regards length of stay times in a given country and the weight achieved by livestock in order also to determine on labels where they were slaughtered. This news is welcomed by producers and operators in the industry. Suffice it to say that in 2013 along, according to Istat data, 11 million pigs were slaughtered in Italy for turnover of 2.8 billion euros. The majority of slaughtering operations occurred in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, with about 76% of total. There follow Piedmont, Veneto and Umbria.
“This positive innovation introduced by the EU is a step in a long process towards ensuring informed purchase decisions to consumers,” said the President of Coldiretti Roberto Moncalvo in a note published on the website of the Association. He also stressed that “the battle continues because – in times of considerable economic difficulty – the market must be offered the value of transparency to the benefit of consumers and farming producers”.
His words were echoed by the Director of Assica, the Industrial Meat and Delicatessen Meats Association, Davide Calderone. “The slaughtering industry hopes,” he points out, “that the introduction of indication of origin for meat will help bring about higher demand for Italian pork in recognition of its high quality content. Traditional Italian pigs are reared for PDO hams and have more mature meat than lighter European pork, which contain less water. This is the hallmark of quality we will be able to communicate”.
Source: Eurocarne Outlook