Skip to main content
Food Safety

In accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, the general rule is that the indication of the country of origin or place of provenance shall be mandatory where failure to indicate this might mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of the food, in particular if the information accompanying the food or the label as a whole would otherwise imply that the food has a different country of origin or place of provenance.(Article 26(2)(a)).

In addition, the Regulation requires the origin labelling for fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry and establishes rules on the origin indication of the primary ingredient.

Furthermore, at EU level mandatory origin provisions have been developed on the basis of vertical approaches for instance for honey, fruit and vegetables, fish, beef and beef products and olive oil.

Origin labelling for fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry:

  • Adoption of an implementing act on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance for fresh chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry after an impact assessment.
  • The Commission has commissioned an external study on mandatory origin labelling for pig, poultry and sheep & goat meat.
  • The Commission Regulation (EU) No 1337/2013 has been adopted setting out the modalities requiring (with some exceptions) the indication of the place of rearing and the place of slaughter for prepacked fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry. The new rules are applicable as of 1 April 2015.

Origin labelling of the primary ingredient of a food:

Other required actions on origin labelling

Origin labelling for meat used as an ingredient

On 17 December 2013, the Commission adopted a report for the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for meat used as an ingredient.

The Commission report is accompanied by a Commission Staff Working Document – Origin labelling for meat used as an ingredient: consumers' attitude, feasibility of possible scenarios and impacts – which provides detailed information underpinning the findings of the Commission report.

Both the Commission report and the accompanied Commission Staff Working Document are mainly based on the results of an external study commissioned by DG SANTE by the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC) titled "Study on the application of rules on voluntary origin labelling of foods and on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient".

Origin labelling for other food categories

On 20 May 2015 the Commission adopted two reports for the European Parliament and the Council:

  • The first one regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for milk, milk used as an ingredient in dairy products and types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat (Milk and dairy products)
  • the second one regarding unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients that constitute over 50% of a food COM(2015) 204 final

These reports are based on external studies:

  • Concerning milk and milk used as an ingredient in dairy products and types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry, the report of the external study can be found on the web site of DG AGRICULTURE.
  • Concerning unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients that constitute over 50% of a food (the report of the external study can be downloaded below)

Study on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients that represent more than 50% of a food:

Related links