EU regulations (again!)

  morddwyd 08:17 14 May 2010

I know they're always fair game, but sometimes it appears justified.

A local butcher has been told he cannot tell his customers where his meat comes from as he doesn't have a licence!

click here

There is no doubt a good eurocratic reason for this, but I would love to know what it is.

  Quickbeam 09:00 14 May 2010

Are there any other benefits to be had from the licence other that to be able to say where the meat came from?

I'd be inclined to write on the board that the meat is fresh from the fridge to see how pedantic the licence enforcers can be, but as you know, I'm not the best follower of rules... good job I'm not German.

  Quickbeam 09:16 14 May 2010

With the difference between the licence's specific place of origin claim versus a general place of origin claim, ie, New Zealand lamb, Argentinian beef, can he simply say 'locally produced meat', which is just as vague as saying produce of NZ, or Argieland?

  morddwyd 09:21 14 May 2010

"claims about their products which could not be substantiated."

The same as would happen to this or any other butcher or retailer.

They would be prosecuted by trading standards.

The fact that he has a licence will not necessarily substantiate his claim.

  Grey Goo 09:23 14 May 2010

Everyone would love to do their own thing,but even you must realise that a certain framework of behaviour is needed. I guess the person who started the Foot and Mouth outbreak or the Salmonella epidemic or even burnt down a block of flats, was "Not the best follower of rules"
And we have all seen the Prats who scream round Supermarket car parks the wrong way.

  spuds 18:20 14 May 2010

It's just another one of those EU mockery's,and some jobs-worth trying to prove they know better.
Many rural and not so rural restaurants have on their menu where they source their produce from, and I see no harm in that whatsoever.Other places are perhaps a bit more discrete perhaps, especially where some organics might originate from!.

Have a look at some of the supermarket labels, and you may well find that the meat is a combination of various countries. Only the other day I saw a label from a well known supermarket, stating that the content was a mixture of reformed German/Polish/British chicken.

When high subsidies were all to easy to gain, many an animal was transported through various countries, and sometimes in the process the true identity of the animal was disguised or forgotten, yet a subsidy was duly paid throughout the procedures. Out of the dock's, through the gates, around the first traffic island, then back again, and subsidies all the way.

A chap not far from where I live breeds bison, llamas and ostrich, as an offshoot to his previous loss making farming enterprise,so where does he state these animals come from, so as to comply?.

  morddwyd 19:58 14 May 2010

You appear to have misunderstood the post, and my reason for making it.

It is not about whether this particular butcher gains a commercial advantage by not paying for a licence, which of course, he does, but why is it necessary for him to have such a licence at all?

Similarly, it is not about traceability - all meat suppliers must be able to trace their meat back to the place of birth, whether they are a major supplier like Tesco or someone with a market stall.

The question is, being in possession of that information, which he is required by law to have, why does he need a license to pass that information on to his customers?

If I ask my (no special license) butcher where his meat comes from, is he allowed to tell me? If not there appears little point in traceability.

If he is, why can't he tell me if I don't ask, i.e. by displaying a notice?

One of the farm shops near here sells lamb "From my uncle's farm in Glen Clova".

Is she committing an offence?

A number of local farm shops sell buffalo meat.

Since there is only one buffalo herd within 100 miles are they committing an offence by selling "Auchtertool Buffalo Burgers"?

Similarly a local product is called Puddledub Bacon. It comes from Puddledub Farm. Should they be compelled to just label it "Scottish Bacon"?

  Quickbeam 00:41 15 May 2010

The trade descriptions act serves the purpose of the licence for free.

  morddwyd 07:55 15 May 2010

You just don't understand do you?

The licence is not for him to sell meat, i.e. to do his job like drive a bus.

It's a licence for him to tell his customers where his meat comes from, nothing more, nothing less.

Greengrocers don't need a licence to say they are selling parsnips from the field next door, or fishmongers to tell you where their fish was bought.

My local chippie actually posts the name of the vessel that caught his fish.

If he was a butcher he'd be breaking the law!

  Forum Editor 08:28 15 May 2010

to say they are selling parsnips from the field next door"

Presumably because parsnips are unlikely to spread E.Coli. The Beef labelling Act was designed to enable food inspectors - and members of the public if they wish - to be able to verify the origin of raw beef offered for sale. Growers must provide butchers with information about the meat they sell, and the law states that butchers may rely on that information. Any additional information declared by the butcher must be verifiable, for very obvious reasons.

The licensing scheme was designed to enable that it could be done by an independent inspector, and to prevent a butcher simply saying 'My beef comes from Dave's farm down the road', when in fact it comes from the Acme beef farming conglomerate in Argentina.

It all seems fairly understandable to me. The idea is to enable any incidence of bovine disease to be easily and rapidly traced to individual animals on individual farms.

  spuds 09:55 15 May 2010

Didn't GORGI cease to exist some time ago, and a new organisation took over the role?.

Having a team of GORGI registered heating engineer's install a full central heating system, then at the time of distress being told that GORGI are only interested in the one metre of gas pipe from the mains to the boiler. doesn't go down very well, especially when it happens to oneself. When people think that licences are the end all and be all, then they have some mis-understandings ahead of them.

With regards of tracing supplies, this can also fall foul of the way things were intended, and many an unscrupulous person as taken advantage of the loopholes. Perhaps more so, when easy subsidies or financial gains are achieved.The good guy is usually the loser.

A farmer near to where I live as just had all his sheep and lambs in excess of over 300 animals taken overnight from his field. And similar livestock thefts are being reported to the police and the NFU on a daily basis. Now I wonder if a licence was used to move them, and payment at the end of the production line was based on where the animals came from.

Don't get me wrong, licensing can be a good thing, it can also be a very bad thing, if administration is based on flaws or poor interpretation.

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