Britain's Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) wants restaurants to adopt a voluntary scheme to identify on their menus the origin of the meat they serve.
Its call follows a survey carried out in April in which 51% of respondents said they wanted a law to be introduced forcing restaurants and pubs to state where their meat came from.
The figure was an increase on the 45% who said the same thing in a similar poll last year.
Only 18% thought a voluntary code was the way forward.
The MLC plans to launch a set of best practice guidelines in the autumn.
"Regulations and red tape will be imposed upon us unless we work together as an industry," claimed MLC marketing director Richard Lowe.