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3

THE CODE OF PRACTICE

FOR THE LABELLING OF

PORK AND PORK PRODUCTS

1.

www.food.gov.uk

INTRODUCTION

British consumers consider a range of factors when buying

pork and pork products.

Research

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

1

and LACORS.

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.

SCOPE

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

important constituent.

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

Background

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

pork products.

1. Retail Labelling – Code of Practice

1.1

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

product concerned.

1.2

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.

Example

“Origin country x”

“Country y bacon”

1.3

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.

Example

“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”

1.4

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.

Example

“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”

1.5

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

Example

“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”