Producing and distributing food – collection

Beef and veal labelling: guidance

You must label beef, veal, mince and trimmings according to compulsory rules; extra information must meet food labelling legislation.

Anyone who supplies fresh or frozen beef or veal must comply with the regulations on traceability and beef labelling.

Premises licensed to slaughter cattle and/or cut beef by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) - abattoirs, cutting plants or catering butchers - are inspected by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Other premises (eg most cold stores, repackaging centres, butchers’ shops, mobile shops, market stalls, supermarkets or farm shops) are inspected by local authorities.

Compulsory labelling

The Compulsory Beef Labelling Scheme is an EU-wide system to give buyers clear, reliable information about beef on sale. An important aim of the system is to enable consumers to know where beef on sale originated.

Voluntary information

You can add extra information to your beef labels voluntarily, but you must make sure that any information added meets the requirements of the current food labelling legislation. You can find more information about this under ‘food labelling and packaging’.

Read old guidance on the National Archives website

Relevant regulations

The Beef and Veal Labelling (England) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/983)

The Beef and Veal Labelling (Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/991 (W. 145))

Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) 653/2014

Regulation (EC) No 1825/2000, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) 275/2007

Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013


If your business is an approved red meat establishment with the FSA you should contact the Meat Technical Schemes team at RPA if you have questions about the scheme:


Telephone: 03300 416508

Meat Technical Schemes team
Rural Payments Agency
Eden Bridge House
Lowther Street


  1. Set up a traceability system for beef and veal

    • Detailed guide

Compulsory labelling

  1. Comply with the Compulsory Beef Labelling Scheme

    • Detailed guide

Voluntary labelling

  1. Add non-compulsory information to beef and veal labelling

    • Detailed guide

Inspections and enforcement

  1. Beef and veal labelling inspections

    • Detailed guide
  2. Beef and veal labelling: what happens if you don't comply

    • Detailed guide