Labelling and Supermarkets Part of To-do List

UK - A new animal welfare law, mandatory place-of-farming labelling, another look at animal transport rules, and supply chain abuses — these are all areas that will be pursued by the EU in Brussels this year and beyond.
calendar icon 16 April 2010
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The progress of each of these initiatives has been chronicled on this page over the past year or so, from green shoots to the stages they have reached now.

After a two-month settling in period the new team of commissioners in Brussels has agreed its priorities and the above issues — all of which will impact on pig farmers to a greater or lesser degree — have been included.

The Commission’s plan for a new animal health law will mean the pulling together of some 60 directives and regulations into a single new strategy.

The work on food labelling will produce voluntary guidelines on farm assurance schemes, such as the Red Tractor, and may modernise the Protected Designation of Origin rules.

But of most interest to British pig farmers is the move to introduce mandatory place-of-farming labelling, which after a tentative start has attracted significant support among Euro-MPs.

The work on animal transport will take the form of a report, either this year or next, which reviews current law and considers whether any new measures are necessary.

The report will take into account expert evidence on the welfare needs of animals, and the implementation of a spy-in-the-cab system.

The Brussels food chain project — which next to mandatory place-of-farming labelling could one day have the greatest impact on pig farmers' fortunes — will look at monitoring retail prices and ways of preventing supply chain abuses.

Brussels’ main concern is to ensure stable food prices but the project could grow to consider the larger question of whether some retailers are simply to large to allow supply chains to operate properly.

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