Task force ok's placing 'British' on pork labeling

by Bryan Salvage
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LONDON — A new code of practice on placing the word "British" on British pork and pork product labeling will be drawn up after an agreement was reached by pig producers, processors, major food retailers and the foodservice sector in the U.K., according to the U.K.’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (D.E.F.R.A.).

When introduced, companies that have signed to include the code will clearly display the origin of the pork on the front of the packet. A declaration that the meat is "British" will mean the animal was born, reared and slaughtered in Britain. There will also be an end to ambiguous terms such as "Produced in the U.K." as the origin of the meat will be declared, D.E.F.R.A. relays.

The agreement was reached by members of the Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force, which D.E.F.R.A. created to address issues concerning the sector, including labeling, environmental performance and competitiveness.

"This agreement is great news for consumers and the whole supply chain," said Food and Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, who chairs the task force. "It means if you buy bacon or sausages from a retailer who’s signed up to the code, then you’ll know exactly where the meat has come from. It’s also helpful for the supply chain from farm to fork, because there will be consistent definitions which the industry can use."

"This is a very significant step forward by all elements of the pig meat supply chain to provide consumers with even greater confidence in what they purchase," added Mick Sloyan, chief executive of the British Pig Executive, who chairs the labeling sub group on the task force. "B.P.E.X. has long championed the need for unambiguous consumer choice. This voluntary code will reassure consumers that, when they buy British pork products, they will have been produced to our high welfare and exacting quality standards."

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