The European Commission said that the rule will allow EU consumers “to know where the meat they buy comes from – a demand they have clearly expressed.”
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the EU produces 20% of the world’s pork, 12% of its poultry and 11% of its beef. Similar rules already exist for fresh beef.
This new labeling will apply to fresh, chilled and frozen meat, and will go into effect on April 1, 2015.
The U.S. recently began requiring similar country-of-origin labels on muscle cuts of beef, chicken, pork, lamb and goat, but the rule is being contested in court by meat industry stakeholders and the governments of Canada and Mexico.