In itself, any compulsory designation of origin is a violation of EU law (exception: PDO ...), stated Dr. Jörg Rieke of the German Dairy Industry Association MIV at a dairy industry meeting in Berlin on 21 January. In 2015, the Juncker Commission committed a real sin by granting France (immediately before parliamentary elections there) permission to introduce compulsory labelling for the raw material contained in dairy products. Subsequently, other countries followed suit. Alexander Anton, Secretary General of the EU dairy industry association EDA (European Dairy Association) even spoke of gastronationalism and gastrochauvinism in his panel contribution. His association is clearly opposed to any binding designation of origin and takes this position aggressively before the EU.
EDA Secretary General Alexander Anton castigated the binding designation of origin as 'gastrochauvinism' (photo: IDM)
Survey results, according to which a majority of consumers - sometimes up to 85% agreement is reported - would like to see a binding indication of origin, are often based on a manipulatively constructed questionaire. For Dr. Sascha Weber of the German State-owned Thünen Institute for Market Analysis it is clear that the real motives for buying are quality, taste and sell-by date as well as pricing. Origin is only important to the consumer far downstream. In addition, it must be assumed that all dairy products that are marketable in the EU are of high quality per se. Weber noted that, on the whole, consumers do not attach importance to knowing the origin of a product; moreover, anyone who wants to know this can already obtain all information on the Internet.
No higher milk price
As both Anton and DMK boss Ingo Müller pointed out, a compulsory designation of origin will not be reflected in the milk price. Especially in Germany, which has complex and daily changing raw material flows and where products from all EU countries are on the market, a disproportionately high effort would have to be made to be able to apply the exact raw material composition to each product. According to Anton, the smaller the market, the more expensive the origin marking becomes.
Consumers and trade
Burkhard Endemann from B&L MedienGesellschaft (specialist magazines: Milch Marketing, Cheese Counter, IDM) took a slightly different position, namely that of the consumer's point of view. It is certainly the case that consumers are more critical today and demand transparency. If Brussels were to impose a binding designation of origin, the industry would not be able to defend itself against it. With voluntary labelling there is a danger, Endemann said, that consumers will wonder why certain products carry the declaration and others do not.
What usually comes off badly in all discussions about a binding designation of origin is the retail trade. It is well kown that they have a good sense of how to address their customers. So far, however, the food retailing sector has not shown too much drive with regard to the designation of origin. This can confidently be seen as evidence that consumers tend to care little about the origin of the products.
Source: IDMAuthor: Sossna