Label ambiguity rife: Industry must step up surveillance

UK - The NPA urgently needs to get a handle on who is importing what. It will be doing this category by category, starting NOW with Fresh Pork.
calendar icon 5 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read
It is urging producers to support the campaign and to download and print several copies of a simple form that's available from its website.

It is asking for all involved in the UK pig industry to visit as many supermarkets possible and complete a form for each imported Fresh Pork product they find.

Completed forms can be faxed back or completed online. A crib sheet of the main MHS numbers is also available on the website.

ImportWatch update

The ImportWatch team says that although the industry thought it had got rid of pernicious tertiary brands, they are most definitely alive in Lidl in the shape of 'Strathvale' pork leg joints - packed by Tulip, but no country of origin given.

There is grave doubts about whether this pork comes from Scotland, which is what the name is clearly meant to imply as 'strath' comes from the Gaelic to describe a broad mountain valley.

Also found in Lidl were Moordale Belgian and French pork chops packed by Dunbia at Preston. "Moor" and "Dale" are two words guaranteed to conjure up scenes of rural England, says the ImportWatch Team. It is misleading and clearly a case for Trading Standards.

Worst offender
However, the worst overall performer to date is Asda, which does not appear to be making any attempt to label its pork products informatively. For instance:
  • A spare rib chop packed by Grampian, but carries no country of origin.
  • Loin steaks packed by 7195 (we're awaiting confirmation of who this is), but agains no country of origin.
  • Organic pork escalope packed in Holland, but no clear country of origin.

There are many more examples, says the team. Its this ambiguity the industry needs to tackle, and fast.

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