The current food labelling legislation in the EU needs to be overhauled to contain more information.
This is according to Pauline Constant, communications officer for food and health issues at the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), who stated that 'Country of Origin Labelling' (COOL) should be displayed with all meat - it is currently only compulsory on fresh beef.
Speaking to EurActiv, she noted how the absence of birthplace labelling on pig, poultry, sheep and goat meat means consumers will not have any idea of where their meat came from.
"Consumers' confidence in their food is at low levels and displaying origin information can boost transparency and help reverse the tide," Ms Constant remarked.
She pointed out that research by the European Commission last year found that 90 per cent of people were keen to know where their meat is coming from, which is compelling evidence of the widespread support for such an initiative.
It also backs up a study carried out by BEUC in 2012 and this discovered that 70 per cent of consumers had a deep interest in knowing exactly where their food comes from. This was also before the horse meat scandal.
In an effort to raise awareness about the issue, BEUC has launched a social media campaign that shows a pig's journey from farm to fork.
Speaking about the initiative, Ms Constant told the news provider: "It clearly shows [how] the origin information goes through the mincer during meat processing. Besides sharing this slideshow, consumers can support us by posting meat products with origin labels they snapped in supermarkets."
The body hopes support for the scheme will demonstrate how COOL is possible and should be made mandatory in all countries. She is also calling on MEPs and member states to put pressure on the future food and health commissioner to help get these measures pushed through.
Posted by Simon Tourle