Spain’s Ham Producers Want Product Excluded from EU Health Label

Spain's Ham Producers Want Product Excluded from EU Health Label
Jamon iberico is a beloved staple of Spanish households and restaurants - Image Source: Wikimedia

PRODUCERS of Spain’s iconic jamón ibérico want ham products to be excluded from the new EU “Nutri-Score” health label alongside olive oil.

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Spain’s pork producers have called on the government to exempt the country’s beloved and renowned ham products from carrying the European Union’s new “Nutri-Score” traffic-light health labels – after Madrid already announced that olive oil would be free from the scheme.

In a bid to standardise food packaging across the bloc, the European Union has introduced a voluntary scheme that Spain has joined whereby all food products will be labelled with a “traffic light” health score. Green “A” will be reserved for those most healthy, like fruit and vegetables, while Red “E” will mark crisps and other junk food.

Producers of Spain’s beloved jamón ibérico ham – a staple of kitchens and tapas bar across the nation – have called for the product to be excluded from the label as it would be classed as a Yellow “C”. They claim that the label would not be representative of the health benefits of ham, as was the case with olive oil which the government has already announced will be excluded.

The Ministry for Consumer Affairs has voiced their concerns that key components of the Mediterranean diet – which some attribute to the long life expectancies of Spaniards and Italians – will not be fairly represented by the new “Nutri-Score” system. The EU hopes their labels – part of its Farm to Fork Strategy – will be rolled out by the end of 2022.

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