The interministerial Decree introducing the obligation to indicate on the label the origin of tomato products was published in the Italian Official Journal last February.
Following the recent regulations for dairy products, pasta and rice, the Decree envisages a two-year trial and applies to products such as tomato preserves, pastes, and sauces as well as sauces that are composed of tomato products for at least for 50%.
The Decree informs that the label of the packaging of tomato products and sauces produced in Italy must have a statement related to the “Country of tomato cultivation” (name of the country where the tomato was grown) and another one relating to “Country of tomato processing” (name of the country where the tomato was processed). If these stages take place in several countries, the wordings “EU countries”, “non-EU countries”, “EU and non-EU countries” may be used, depending on the origin. It will also be possible to use the phrase “Origin of tomato: Italy” when all the operations take place in Italy.
An online public consultation -set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and attended by over 26,000 Italian citizens- highlighted that 82% considers it important to know the origin of raw materials for all the issues related to the compliance of food safety standards, in particular for tomato products.
If you want to know all the details and apply the new rule correctly, contact our Labeling services.
Source: Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies