Food quality in the European Union is promoted by policies focused on providing consumers with the best information on the ingredients and manufacturing methods used, as well as on the special features provided by the regional character of products manufactured across the Member States.
However, quality may be an extremely subjective concept when it does not rely on a benchmark public analysis.
In labelling, only part of the information contained in company-specific product standards is presented by producers to inform consumers.
At present, producers are only legally obliged to supply the manufacturing standards at the request of the authorities, in order for them to analyse the parameters of the product marketed.
Increasing the transparency of information from the producer to the consumer by publishing the manufacturing standards for the products sold in each European country represents a first step towards better information, and establishing a single electronic register of products could be the solution.
All parties concerned would thus have access to information, and consumers can decide on purchasing products based on real information.
Does the Commission plan to establish such a tool at EU level, which will help consumers and which will be an efficient means of fighting dual standards and, implicitly, unfair competition?