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Origin Labelling

4.2 Origin Labelling

Under existing EU legislation country of origin or place of provenance labelling is voluntary, unless its absence could mislead the consumer. However, national authorities may invoke mandatory requirements under certain conditions. Separate rules on origin labelling apply for beef and veal, in the context of the EU's BSE protection measures.

Nevertheless, it is in the interest of the exporter to state the country of origin on the labelling of the good being exported. Essentially, consumer demand in the EU for country of origin labelling of food products is high (Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue , 2008). For producers that

decide to put the country of origin or place of provenance on the label of their product a certain criteria that are in line with international standards (WTO and Codex) in accordance with the Community Customs Code should be followed. The country of origin or place of provenance of the main ingredients must also be listed if those ingredients originate from a different place than the finished product. Therefore, if the ingredients or key components of the food come from a different country of origin or place of provenance, that must also be included on the label.

For example, butter churned in Belgium from Danish milk could be labelled as "produced in Belgium from Danish milk".  (Questions and Answers on Food Labelling, 2008)

As far as the Caribbean is concerned, given the relatively high number of European tourists that visits the region; they may develop some affinity to the "Caribbean brand" and clearly stating the country of origin on the product label would be of benefit in this regard.