Thanks to some great work from the club and its secretary, Gloucester Old Spot meat has TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) which protects how GOS pork is labelled on content, but the normal EU rules apply to all other aspects.

After much wrangling, the EU has finally agreed on the next step in food labelling for pork, lamb and poultry which will come into effect in 15 months time. The British pig industry has for some time been calling on successive governments to enforce country of origin labelling to protect higher welfare British pork production.

The EU hasn’t gone that far and there will be no compulsory labelling of country of origin.

But it has decided that country of rearing and slaughter will be made compulsory. This then leads to the question as to how long an animal must be in a country to become “reared in”.

As is often the case, different countries had different views, and the compromise is of a complexity that it could only come from the EU.

To be reared in a country, this must be the place where the animal spends the majority of its life. But to this simple policy the EU has added both time and weight elements.

So for pork the new rules will be

Age of pig
Pig weight
Over 6 months
Any weight
Country of rearing in last 4 months of life
Less than 6 months
Over 80kg
Country where animal was reared from 30kg until slaughter
Less than 6 months
Under 80kg
Country in which the whole rearing period since birth took place

Finally country of origin cannot be put on any meat unless the pig has been born, raised and slaughtered in the same Country.

So that’s all simple then !

For most pig keepers who sell pork, these new rules will be of only academic interest, as their pigs only ever live in one country.

But whether this gives consumers any clearer idea of where their Danish joint has been during its life (and say how much time it spent in Germany) is highly debatable !