European Debate on Future of Food Labelling
Food experts from across Europe will meet in Prague tomorrow (12 March) for a two-day debate on the future of food labelling.
Food experts from across Europe will meet in Prague tomorrow (12 March) for a two-day debate on the future of food labelling in the EU.
The high-level conference, which was organised by the current Czech Presidency, will focus on the issues raised in the Green Paper on Agricultural Product Quality Policy, which was presented by the European Commission in October last year.
Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, will lead the discussion, which could lead to ground breaking changes in labelling and food schemes.
One of the key areas under debate will be the use of quality marks such as the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). As the single largest producer of PGI products in the EU, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has been invited to attend the debate and represent the interests of Scottish red meat businesses.
QMS head of marketing Laurent Vernet said: "We will watch this debate with interest as decisions taken here may well result in significant changes in the way the quality of food is defined and how quality marks can be used as a marketing tool.
"Scotch Beef was the first European meat product to be granted the coveted PGI status closely followed by Scotch Lamb. Not only were we the first, we also produce higher volumes of PGI bearing product than anywhere else in Britain and that makes us key players in this debate.
"Having PGI status has more than proved its worth over the years and helped set us apart from our competitors. It's particularly highly regarded on the continent as a sign of superior quality and has helped us build valuable export sales."
The European Commission will use conclusions from the conference, along with the results of a consultation exercise on the Green Paper, to prepare a communication on the Quality Policy, which is due to be published in May 2009 and could lead to EU legislative changes.
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