THE CODE OF PRACTICE
FOR THE LABELLING OF
PORK AND PORK PRODUCTS
British consumers consider a range of factors when buying
pork and pork products.
shows that while price
and freshness are primary concerns when deciding what
to buy, consumers want clear and unambiguous labelling
so that they have the ability to make an informed choice. Of
particular interest is country of origin, pig production terms –
such as free range – and the use of breed names.
This Code of Practice sets down the minimum standards
which supporting businesses will use when labelling pork
and pork products. It is largely based on advice on best
practice from the Food Standards Agency
The Code sets out a number of principles that supporting
businesses will use in their labelling. It then lists examples
of the terminology that could be used. Companies may use
similar terms with the same meaning in the design of their
labels and literature.
The Code of Practice applies initially to fresh and frozen,
pork, bacon, gammon, ham, sausages and pork pies. Once
established it is planned to extend coverage of the Code
to other processed products where pork is an
This Code of Practice applies to retail labels used on
pre-packed or loose pork and pork products. It also
applies to the use of the terms in foodservice.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Under EU law specific food groups are required to be labelled
with information on country of origin. These include beef,
veal, fish, shellfish, most fresh fruit and vegetables and
poultry meat imported from outside the EU. Other food
groups including pork and pork products are covered by The
Food Labelling Regulations 1996.
There is a general principle in the regulations that the place
of origin or provenance of the food should be labelled if
failure to do so might mislead a purchaser.
However there are areas where there is a lack of clarity or
the regulations do not match consumers’ expectations. For
example the legislation allows imported pork processed in
this country to be labelled as Produced in the UK (as this was
the place of last substantial change).
This Code of Practice addresses these ambiguities and
provides clarity for consumers in the labelling of pork and
1. Retail Labelling – Code of Practice
The country of origin of pork and the pork used in
processed products will be clearly displayed on the front
of the packet. If this is not practical due to label size or
extended origin descriptions the country of origin will
be clearly displayed on the side or back of the packet.
For products not sold pre-packed a country of origin
statement will be displayed in close proximity to the
Single country of origin declarations mean that the pig
used to produce the pork or pork product was born,
reared and slaughtered in that country.
“Origin country x”
“Country y bacon”
Where a country of origin is stated and the pig is born,
reared or slaughtered in more than one country then
additional information will be provided on the pack. This
will be either a) a statement of each of the countries
involved; or b) the country where the pigs were born or
reared (farmed) will be stated.
“Country x pork from pigs born in country y and reared /
farmed in country z”
“Country x pork from pigs reared in country y”
“Bacon from country x from pigs reared in country y”
“Country x pork from pigs born in country y”
The terms “Produced in the UK” and “Packed in the UK”
can be ambiguous about origin if not qualified and so
will not be used in isolation. The country or countries of
origin will be clearly stated.
“Produced in the UK using pork from country x”
“Made in the UK using country x and country y pork”
“Packed in the UK using pork from country x”
Pork products such as sausages, ham and pork pies can
sometimes be made with pork from a number of different
countries. In such cases the countries of origin will be
stated or the EU will be the declared origin
“made with pork from country x and country y”
“made with imported pork”
“made with pork sourced from the EU”
“made with pork from a number of EU countries”
“made with pork from country x, country y or country z”