Adulteration, counterfeiting and deliberate mislabelling of food products pose a risk for our health, especially when allergenic or even toxic ingredients of unknown origin are used to replace more expensive ingredients. A clear label indicating the origin of ingredients helps preventing and tackling food scandals that endanger public health.
In Europe, food frauds are estimated to create damages up to 12 billion € per year, and the phenomenon has intensified in the last decades. The mandatory indication of origin on food labels helps preventing falsifications and unfair commercial practices that damage the single market as well as the national economies.
EU citizens have the right to be protected and to receive accurate information about the food they choose to purchase. In order to make informed choices, consumers need to know where the products are harvested and transformed, the origin of ingredients and more information about production and processing methods.
The primary goal of food labelling is to provide consumers with coherent and transparent information to enable them to make informed choices. Consumer’s demand for information on the place of origin of food is becoming increasingly important but under current regulation there is significant potential for consumers to be misled and exposed to food frauds.
At this stage, the origin must always be labelled for the following foods: honey; olive oil; fresh fruit and vegetables; fish; beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat (fresh, chilled or frozen). For all other foods, origin labelling is only voluntary. Therefore, origin information is largely missing on many foods such as meat products, milk, dairy products, unprocessed foods and single-ingredient products (e.g. flour or sugar).
A complete indication of the country of origin of food increases the transparency of the product, and can be a useful tool to prevent food fraud. For this reason, we call on the European Commission to make the indication of the country of origin mandatory for all processed and unprocessed foods circulating in EU, and to introduce more strict traceability requirements under harmonised criteria in order to strengthen food safety and transparency throughout the food supply chain.
The full text of the petition has been published on the official register of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/open
European citizens have the right to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate, through the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The ECI has to be backed by at least one million EU citizens, and a minimum number of signatories is required from at least 7 Member States. For more information click here: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/
To support a European Citizens’ Initiative, you must be an EU citizen (resident in an EU member state) and old enough to vote in European Parliament elections (18 in exception to Austria where the voting age is 16).
The rules for collecting signatures are drawn up by each EU Member State. Some Member States require personal data like ID card or passport. All the information you enter will be saved on secure servers and will be solely used for the purpose of the ECI and validating your signature.
Your information is firstly encrypted - so no one can access it - and is temporarily stored on a secure server in Germany. Once a Member State collects enough signatures, these are handed over to the competent national authorities that will formally verify the signatures. The organisers’ ability to perform these tasks securely has been certified according to the requirements of the European Union. All EU data protection rules and law are applied.
With 1,6 million members, Coldiretti (Confederazione Nazionale Coltivatori Diretti) is the largest organization representing and assisting Italian agriculture. Articulated through offices in every region and in each Italian province, it represents the agricultural enterprises, the direct farmers, the professional agricultural entrepreneurs, the agricultural societies, the consortiums, the cooperatives, the associations and every other entity and subject operating in the agricultural, fish, agri-food, environmental and rural field, at national, European and international level.
Promoted by Coldiretti, Campagna Amica Foundation was set up in 2008 to implement initiatives aimed at fully expressing the value and dignity of Italian agriculture, highlighting its key role in protecting the environment, the territory, traditions and culture, health, food security, equity, access to food at a fair price, social aggregation and work.
FNSEA (Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d'Exploitants Agricoles) is a French umbrella organisation founded in 1946. FNSEA is in charge of the national representation of 20,000 local agricultural unions, 12 regional federations with a total of 212,000 members. It is part of French employers' organisations and of professional agricultural organisations. FNSEA is structured on a triple representation based on the idea of representing people in agriculture (farmers, owners, women, retired), productions and crops, and territories (regions).
The FWA - Fédération Wallonne de l’Agriculture was born in 2001 from the merger of the Agricultural Professional Unions and the Belgian Agricultural Alliance. Created by and for farmers, the FWA puts at the service of its members a specialized staff with multiple skills in the agricultural field. The FWA ensures equitable representation of all types of agriculture, all regions and in all decision-making circles, whether at the regional, federal or European level.
Familles Rurales is a national association that acts in favour of families throughout the country, in rural and peri-urban areas. With 160,000 member families, 2,200 local associations, 83 departmental and regional federations, 40,000 volunteers and 17,000 employees, it is the leading family association movement in France, but also a key player in the social and solidarity economy and popular education. Familles Rurales is an established consumer protection association.
GAIA EPICHEIREIN, founded in 2014, is the result of a broad coalition between Greek farmers & agri-cooperatives (71 agri-cooperatives and associations, 150,000 farmers) that have teamed up with partners from the technology sector and the banking sector in order to promote the vision of a more sustainable and competitive Greek agricultural model. GAIA EPICHEIREIN’s mission is to support Greek farmers and agri-cooperatives as well as assist them in making a quality leap towards a more sustainable and competitive primary sector by investing in knowledge and innovation.
Green Protein is an NGO working for a shift in protein consumption, from less meat and dairies to more plants such as legumes, vegetables and grains. This is necessary to reduce global warming, provide an increasing world population with food and for limiting welfare diseases and animal suffering. Our aims are to raise awareness about this issue and influence decision makers to implement policies that leads in the right direction.
Founded in 1957, Jeunes Agriculteurs (JA) is the only French professional organization composed exclusively of young people under 35 years old. Apolitical and independent, JA represents 50,000 young farmers from all kind of production. Divided into 14 regional structures and 95 departmental structures, JA's objectives are to defend the interests of young farmers and to promote access to the farming in order to ensure the renewal of generations in agriculture.
KEPKA is a non-governmental, non-profit, independent consumers' organization. Established in 1982, its main activities are raising consumers' conscience in Greece and protecting consumers' rights, informing consumers on products, services, economic interests, health, nutrition, environmental problems, human rights, ethics and urging the Greek Government, the European Commission and the European Parliament to develop a consumer policy towards the improvement of the quality of the consumers' and citizens' lives.
OCU (Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios) is a private independent non-profit organization that aims to promote and defend the interests of consumers. OCU action is aimed at guiding consumers in their choices, working to help them solve their problems within the consumption of different products and to assert their fundamental rights as consumers. Among its activities and services, OCU carries out advocacy actions defending consumers’ interests at national, European and global levels.
QUALIFICA/ oriGIn Portugal is an association between Municipalities, Producers Groups, Producers, experts, cultural groups and Rural development associations whose work aims to valuate, qualify, protect, promote and dignify the identity of the Portuguese Traditional Products and subsequently their producers and territory.
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us. Since its beginnings, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.
The Independent autonomous trade union of individual farmers “Solidarność” - established in 1981 - is the first and the oldest Polish Farmers' Union. It is called upon to represent and defend the dignity, rights, unity and professional interests of Polish farmers and family farms at national and international level. Solidarność operates for the benefit of the economic and social development of rural areas and agriculture, and works to ensure an appropriate level of profitability of the agricultural production.
The "Unión de Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos" (UPA) is a professional organization that brings together, represents and defends the interests of agricultural and livestock professionals in Spain. UPA is the organization that gathers the biggest group in the agricultural sector: family farms whose owners are small and medium-sized farmers and livestock breeders. UPA has more than 80,000 affiliates throughout Spain: professional farmers and stockbreeders representing all sectors and all the regions, having in UPA the organization that represents them at all levels and providing the services that farms demand.
Founded in 2008 by the former italian Minister of Agriculture and Environment Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio and the environmental magistrate Gianfranco Amendola, The UniVerde Foundation aims to promote the dissemination of information and knowledge of the ecological culture and to promote a change in the styles of life, through the realization of research and studies, conferences, publications, web communication, TV and radio, training courses and projects.
Help us to spread the word on social networks