Food Law News - EU - 1997

24 January 1997: EGGS - Review of Terms of Production

MAFF Letter, 24 January 1997

Egg Marketing Regulations - Review of Terms of Production (SMT Criteria)

The marketing of eggs is governed by Regulation 1538/91 (as amended) and it includes, in Article 18 and Annex II, the controls relating to special marketing terms which may be used to indicate production techniques. The English terms listed are: free range eggs, semi-intensive eggs, deep litter eggs, eggs from caged hens.

The Commission (DG VI - marketing) has indicated that it is timely, for the benefit of consumers and farmers, to review the "SMT" labelling criteria applied to egg marketing over the coming months. This debate on the need for revision to the existing criteria is to be informed by:

It is indicated that there will be ultimately a need to interact with the developments on the welfare rules (DG VI - veterinary) and the organic food rules (DG III - food).

The MAFF letter is seeking views on the need for change and any proposals for change. The only indication from the Commission is that the rules should not restrict the ability of producers to innovate to meet EC consumer demands. Included with the letter was a paper describing a new system called "wintergarden" which has been circulated by the Germans.

The next meeting of the Management Committee which will be considering the issue will be on 18 March.

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