Contract caterer BaxterStorey has confirmed that it is the first and so far the only contract caterer to back a new voluntary code on pork labelling.
The firm joins major supermarket chains Asda, Morrison's, Sainsbury's and Tesco in endorsing the code, which aims to give "clear and unambiguous" information about country of origin on packs of pork, bacon and ham.
The news comes as Department for Food Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) secretary Hilary Benn launched the code at NFU annual conference in Birmingham today.
The code was introduced to avoid ambiguity over the term "Produced in the UK" as a product can currently be assembled in the UK, but the meat can come from another country.
The new code means that packaging will have to read: "Produced in the UK using pork from country x".
The code also covers the use of single country of origin descriptions. The key elements of country of origin include:
• A commitment to clearly display the country of origin on retail packs;
• Where single country of origin is displayed it means that the pig was born, reared and slaughtered in that country;
• The term "produced in the UK" will not be used without qualification of the origin of the pork;
• The use of national terms and symbols (such as flags) will mean that the pork comes from that country;
• Product specific terms such as Wiltshire Cure will mean that the pork used to make the product comes from within
the UK. If not the origin will be clearly stated;
• Imagery that could imply UK origin will only be used on UK origin product, otherwise there will be a statement of origin on
• Food service outlets will make origin information readily available to customers such as on the menu, in literature or on
company websites; and
• Where the term "local" is used it will be clearly defined.
By Neil Gerrard
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