Germany: Poultry industry sees large gaps in the draft law on state animal husbandry labeling
So far, this has been a model of no value for the German poultry industry: the paper is largely limited to the retail marketing channel, ignoring the entire area of out-of-home consumption and catering and also forgets to include processed meat products in the regulatory area. "The present draft bill cannot and must not become law in this form," criticizes Friedrich-Otto Ripke, President of the Central Association of the German Poultry Industry.
The draft bill builds on the key issues paper for state animal husbandry labeling recently presented by Federal Minister Cem Özdemir. A mandatory mark on meat packaging is planned, which will in future provide consumers with transparent information about how an animal was kept in Germany.
For President Friedrich-Otto Ripke, the draft submitted is a slap in the face to German meat producers: “This would make Germany, with its animal keepers and companies, completely uncompetitive within the EU as a livestock location. Not a single word is explained to local farmers as to how they are to finance the required conversion of their stables. In addition to these enormous financial burdens, there is still no provision for mandatory labeling of origin on all marketing channels as a clear indication and appreciation of German goods. That cannot work – especially not in times of inflation with a clear trend towards buying cheaper groceries.”
The application to all out-of-home consumption is also not provided in the draft law. “Our federal minister knowingly forgets to regulate more than half of the market. More than 50% of meat sales flow into this area. Here in particular, more transparency about the husbandry and origin of animals would be particularly important. To dispense with the mandatory labeling there is deadly for the local population in the long run added value,” Ripke continues. Foreign goods with significantly lower animal husbandry standards will be processed even more in gastronomy, canteens and wholesalers and displace German goods: “Federal Minister Özdemir is actively triggering meat imports with the proposal from his house that has become public. That cannot and must not be his intention and the Bundestag must prevent this!”
The President notes that, for constitutional reasons, the Bundestag cannot accept that no further labels for the type of husbandry should be allowed in addition to the state husbandry label. “We will not allow ourselves to be banned from the tried-and-tested label of the Animal Welfare Initiative, which is now well known to three quarters of German consumers and which is present on over 80% of foods containing poultry!” stresses Friedrich-Otto Ripke.
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