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 The draft Commission Implementing Regulation on mandatory origin labelling for pig, poultry and sheep and goat meat was approved by member state experts at their meeting earlier this month.

This measure, which is required by the Food Information Regulation, sets out mandatory labelling rules for the indication of place of rearing and slaughter for pre-packed fresh, chilled or frozen pig, poultry, sheep and goat meat. The types of meat concerned must be labelled with the indication "Reared in: (name of Member State or third country)" and "Slaughtered in: (name of Member State or third country)". Minced meat and trimmings may be labelled with reference to rearing and slaughtering at EU geographical level (EU and/or non-EU). The draft regulation sets out that an identification and registration system (with reference codes) should be put in place by food business operators for all stages of production and distribution of the meat, from slaughtering until packaging.

Providing additional voluntary information is also allowed under the new rules. Such information includes flags or symbols, information on regions such as "Bavaria", "Jabugo" or "Scotland", or an origin reference in the product name, e.g. "Italian" or "French". The Commission is now expected to adopt the draft regulation in the coming days. The Regulation would apply from 1 April 2015 onwards.

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