Tracing label from table to farm
Accurate labelling is crucial because consumers have the right to be certain that their food contains nothing more or less than what the label states. Transparent labelling also allows people to make informed choices about what type of food they eat, and gives farmers and food companies the freedom to choose the food they grow and produce.
The EU recently passed new legislation on the labelling and traceability of food to ensure that all food sold in Europe is clearly labelled.
On the right track
Accurate labels require effective and precise tracing systems which can track every component of the food we consume from plate to farm gate.
EU-funded research is looking into ways of improving current tracking systems and of establishing an integrated Union-wide traceability infrastructure that brings together and builds upon existing national capacities.
GMO tracking tools
As the global trade in genetically modified (GM) foods grows, the EU needs to satisfy consumer demands – and Union regulations – that transgenic products entering Europe be clearly labelled and controlled.
With 55 partners in 14 countries, the CO-EXTRA project is working to develop a centralised decision-support system which provides effective traceability and containment tools to manage the expected surge in imported transgenic products, and to ensure effective coexistence between GM, conventional and organic crops.
The genuine article
Consumers increasingly want to be certain about the origin of their food. Producers of regional specialities like Parma ham also want to be sure that imitators cannot make false claims of origin. However, there is currently no coherent Europe-wide traceability system for food.
TRACE is a four-and-a-half-year EU-backed project that aims to provide complete traceability of a range of food products – meats, cereals, olive oil, honey and mineral water – from source to shop and back again. The 50 partners will focus on products labelled as ‘of designated origin’ or ‘organic’.