EU Regulation n. 665/2014: “Mountain product”

This Regulation, implementation of Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 (“quality package”), establishes the conditions necessary to use the optional quality term “mountain product”.

In particular, in order to prevent consumers being misled, it refers to products of animal origin (Article 1), feed (Article 2), apiculture products (Article 3), products of plant origin (Article 4), other ingredients (Article 5) and to the processing operations that can be carried out outside of the mountain areas, but not as far as 30km from these areas (Article 6).

Article 1 – Products of animal origin

1.   The term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products produced by animals in mountain areas as defined in Article 31(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 and processed in such areas.

2.   The term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products made from animals that are reared for at least the last two thirds of their life in those mountain areas, if the products are processed in such areas.

3.   By way of derogation from paragraph 2, the term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products made from transhumant animals that have been reared for at least one quarter of their life in transhumance grazing on pastures in mountain areas.

Article 2 – Feedstuffs

1.   For the purposes of Article 31(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, feedstuffs for farm animals shall be deemed to come essentially from mountain areas if the proportion of the annual animal diet that cannot be produced in mountain areas, expressed as a percentage of dry matter, does not exceed 50 % and, in the case of ruminants, 40 %.

2.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, as regards pigs, the proportion of feedstuffs that cannot be produced in mountain areas, expressed as a percentage of dry matter, shall not exceed 75 % of the annual animal diet.

3.   Paragraph 1 shall not apply to feedstuffs for transhumant animals referred to in Article 1(3) when reared outside mountain areas.

Article 3 – Products of beekeeping

1.   The term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products of beekeeping if the bees have collected the nectar and the pollen only in mountain areas.

2.   By way of derogation from Article 31(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, sugar fed to bees shall not be required to come from mountain areas.

Article 4 – Products of plant origin

By way of derogation from Article 31(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, the term ‘mountain product’ may be applied to products of plant origin only if the plant is grown in mountain areas as defined in Article 31(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.

Article 5 – Ingredients

When used in products referred to in Articles 1 and 4, the following ingredients may come from outside mountain areas, provided that they do not represent more than 50 % of the total weight of the ingredients:

(a)

products not listed in Annex I to the Treaty; and

(b)

herbs, spices and sugar.

Article 6 – Processing operations outside mountain areas

1.   By way of derogation from Article 31(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 and Article 1(1) and (2) of this Regulation, the following processing operations may take place outside mountain areas, provided that the distance from the mountain area in question does not exceed 30 km:

(a)

processing operations for the production of milk and milk products in processing facilities in place on 3 January 2013;

(b)

slaughtering of animals and cutting and deboning of carcasses;

(c)

pressing of olive oil.

2.   As regards products processed on their territory, Member States may determine that the derogation in paragraph 1, point (a) will not apply or that the processing facilities must be located within a distance, to be specified, of less than 30 km from the mountain area in question.

Entry into force and application: June 26th, 2014

Written Q&A to EU Commission – Honey labelling and GMOs

Question for written answer E-002666/13
to the Commission
Jim Higgins (PPE)
(7 March 2013)

Subject: Labelling of honey

The practical effect of the classification of pollen as a constituent of honey in the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2001/110/EC relating to honey will be that the presence of authorised genetically modified (GM) pollen in honey will not require labelling unless it exceeds 0.9% of the overall honey weight.
How does the Commission plan to protect the rights of consumers to transparent labelling?
How can consumers make an informed decision when the presence of GM pollen is not marked on the label of honey products?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
(22 April 2013)

The objective of the proposal by the Commission is not to prevent consumers from being informed of the presence of unauthorised GM pollen in honey, but to clarify that pollen is a constituent of honey, in line with international standards. This amendment will restore honey as a natural product made by bees and only composed of constituents.
In this context, the GMO legislation (1) adopted by the European Parliament and the Council sets out a labelling threshold of 0.9% under which presence of authorised GMOs in foodstuff does not have to be labelled when this presence is adventitious or technically unavoidable. The Commission considers that this labelling threshold applies equally to honey as to any other foodstuff and that there are no objective reasons to make a special treatment for honey.
The Commission considers that the development of ‘GM free’ labelling schemes by private operators or public authorities can permit consumers to select products avoiding any GM presence if they so wish. The Commission has launched a study to gain a better understanding of the scopes and specifications of these labels in the EU and to assess the need for a possible harmonisation of this field. The results of the study will be published in 2013.

⋅1∙ Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on GM food and feed, OJ L 268, 18.10.2003.