COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING
Food standards agency
The Food Standards Agency commissioned five research studies on country of origin labelling.
Key findings include:
- There is low understanding of country of origin labelling, and there is evidence of confusion about the meaning of origin labelling, particularly in relation to animal products and whether it refers to where the animal was born, reared, slaughtered or processed
- A link has been identified amongst consumers between the perceived freshness and local origin of food products
- According to the evidence review, country of origin ranks alongside price and use-by/best-before dates as the most commonly sought information on food labels.
- Standard-assured logos are often misunderstood, as consumers often believe them to be assurances of complete safety and country of origin
- Consumers felt it would be beneficial for country of origin labelling to be displayed prominently so it is easily found
- Consumers would like country of origin labelling to include easily visible strong images indicating country of origin from the consumers‟ perspective (i.e. where the product began or was raised)
- The country of origin label is an important indicator for consumers of both the quality and safety of food. A key feature of country of origin labelling is the traceability of food products, particularly their origin, production and distribution histories
The full report can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk