Aquaculture for all

Clearer Labelling for EU Fish Products

Sustainability Economics Food safety & handling +3 more

EU - A new system for labelling fish products, agreed by the European Union, will give consumers information about the way their fish is caught and sets a precedent for clearer labelling of other animal products.

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The European Union agreement means consumers that buy fish products should get clearer and more comprehensive information about what they are buying. In particular, it was agreed that each fish product must contain information about how the fish was caught. For example, whether the fish was line caught or trawled.

Method of catch labelling will give consumers information about the fishing system used to produce their food. They will be able to use this to make informed choices, based on ethical grounds.

Labelling Matters, led by Compassion in World Farming, is campaigning for method of production labelling of all meat and dairy products.

Project manager, ffinlo Costain, says: "Consumers have proven that they want to know where their food comes from. By introducing method of catch labelling the EU has made it possible for consumers to make informed choices.”

In 2004 the EU introduced mandatory production system labelling of eggs. By providing clear information, the scheme gave consumers the power to demand better welfare with their choices. The scheme has helped deliver a large rise in sales of cage-free (barn, free range and organic) eggs, and has ensured better welfare for millions of hens. In the UK alone cage-free egg production rose from 31% of the market in 2003 to 51% in 2011.

Ffinlo says: “Consumers want clear information, and in this case the European Union has listened. Importantly, it means that method of production labelling of all meat and dairy products has been set a promising precedent.

"Labelling Matters wants to see method of production labelling extended to all meat and dairy products.”

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