The Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force recently announced a voluntary Code of Practice for the labelling of pork and pork products. The Code of Practice has been drawn up to provide the pig meat supply chain with a set of guidelines to help them produce clear, consistent and unambiguous labelling on all pork and pork products. It calls for the country of origin of the pork used in pork products to be clearly displayed. Organisations signing up to the Code of Practice will be able to provide consumers with clarity and even greater confidence in the pork products they purchase. The move is consistent with that of the Food Standards Agency which wants labelling to be clear, consistent and transparent. The Code of Practice applies to the whole of the pig meat supply chain. Although many retail and foodservice companies already comply with the Code of Practice, some changes may be required. Companies supporting the Code of Practice will be fully compliant by 1 January 2011.
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 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.