The EDA said it welcomes the publication of the EU Commission Implementing Regulation laying down the rules for the application of Article 26(3) of the EU Regulation on Food Information to Consumers.
After in-depth coordination with member states, the Commission sheds light on the comprehensive rules of origin with an Implementing Act that brings a harmonized EU framework for the voluntary indication of the origin of foods.
Dairy industry milestone
EDA’s secretary general, Alexander Anton, said the Act will hopefully stop the process of disruption of the internal market caused by the introduction of national rules on mandatory origin labelling of food products in several Member States.
“As a contribution to the development of a sound and coherent EU scheme on rules of origin EDA issues today what we think to be a milestone of the proactive role of the EU dairy industry,” Anton said.
The EDA said its guidelines on voluntary indication of origin ensure harmonized, accurate and credible labeling information for European consumers and will serve as a guidance for EU dairies in applying the new EU rules.
In such voluntary cases, labelling of dairy products should indicate the origin of their dairy ingredients, and for increased credibility ensure that all dairy ingredients are included in the information.
The primary ingredient of a dairy product can be a blend of milk or dairy ingredients from various origins.
If a food business operator decides to voluntarily label the origin of a product, then the primary ingredient (e.g. milk and/or dairy ingredient) should all come from the same member state or region.
If that is not the case, both the origin of the food and the origin of the dairy ingredients need to be displayed on the label.
The EDA document gives definitions dairy companies should use, an explanation of terms, several example scenarios, and a flowchart companies can follow to determine how to label their products.
The new EDA guidelines can be found here.