Food Law News - EU - 2004
Council Meeting, 21 June 2004
BEEF LABELLING - Council discussions on Commission evaluation of beef labelling
[The following is an extract from the minutes of the
Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting]
The Presidency noted that there was broad agreement among the delegations in
support of the Commission document (8963/04) and its evaluation of Community
legislation regarding beef labelling.
On the basis of today's discussion, the Presidency drew the following conclusions:
- The first point to be made is that there is agreement that beef labelling
has made a significant contribution to the consumer's need for knowledge,
consequently to consumer confidence and to the restoration of the demand for
beef, and that there is no case at present for significant change to the existing
- On the specific issues raised in the report, there is a majority of delegations
against the introduction of EU-origin labelling at this stage and also against
more flexible provisions in relation to minced meat, particularly governing
the supply of meat from more than one Member State to minced meat production
- In relation to the extension of the labelling provisions to restaurants
and institutional catering, a majority shared the Commission's view that a
general extension should not be proceeded with at this time; however, the
Commission has confirmed that Member States may adopt national compulsory
measures in accordance with the procedures laid down in Directive 1998/354.
- A majority of delegations agree with the Commission on the need to harmonise
voluntary labelling specifications and on the need to simplify EU provisions
relating to batches of beef at the secondary cutting stage, to trimmings and
to non -pre-wrapped products. These are issues which should be considered
at Management Committee level.
- There were mixed views on the harmonisation of cattle categories, particularly
veal; most delegations believe that the definition of veal is a matter for
This report has also been presented to the European Parliament. When the Parliament
has given its views, further examination by the Council may be necessary. However,
that is for a future presidency to decide.
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