Producing and distributing food – guidance

Apply to join the Approved Beef Labelling Scheme

This detailed guidance was withdrawn on 10 February 2015

The Approved Beef Labelling Scheme closed on 13 December 2014.

After this date, any voluntary information added to labels must meet the requirements of the current food labelling legislation.

You can find more information about this under food labelling and packaging.

If you want to label beef with extra information such as breed or origin, you must apply for approval and arrange independent verification.

Important information

The Approved Beef Labelling Scheme closes on 13 December 2014.

After this date, any voluntary information added to labels must meet the requirements of the current food labelling legislation.

You can find more information about this under ‘food labelling and packaging’.

If you want to add non-compulsory information to your beef labelling, you can:

If RPA has questions about your application once you have sent it in, it will telephone or write to you.

Applications received before the scheme closes

RPA will continue to deal with new applications as normal. They will issue a provisional approval which will end on 13 December 2014. New applicants will not need to complete an independent verification before 13 December.

Any certificates of conformity that you get from an individual verification body may remain valid until its expiry date. But you should check this with the verification body.

Supporting information you must provide

In your application you will need to include the labelling information you wish to give your customers, including a copy of your label(s).

You must also explain your traceability control system (how you will provide evidence that the labelling information is true).

All businesses handling meat must set up a traceability system, but to make claims under the Approved Beef Labelling Scheme you might need to keep additional information. Your traceability system might need to cover any or all stages of production and sale, from the sourcing and management of animals through to slaughter, cutting, packing and retail.

Your traceability system must demonstrate that the beef you sell or supply can be traced back to the animal or group of animals from which it was derived.

Your traceability control system will be checked by an independent verifier, who must come from the approved list. In your application you have to nominate the verifier you plan to use, having first contacted them to make sure they can carry out the work for you.

If you want your application to cover your beef when it’s sold at outlets outside your business, you must list all of these outlets in your application and update the list at least annually if it changes.

What to do after your labelling is approved

As soon as you get written approval from RPA:

  • you can start to add the approved claim to your labels and all other information given at the point of sale
  • you must contact your nominated independent verifier to arrange an inspection

If your approval covers outlets outside your business, you will also need to employ your verifier to ensure the traceability control systems of these outlets are satisfactory.

If, having inspected your traceability control system, the verifier is satisfied with it, they will give you a certificate of product conformity. This certificate will be valid for a stated time. They may also issue a report explaining what checks they have done and how reliable they judge your labelling information to be.

Within 6 months of the date of your approval, you must send a copy of your certificate of conformity to RPA.

Contact

Email: MTS.Carlisle@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: 01228 640 469

Fax: 01228 640 308

Meat Technical Schemes team
Rural Payments Agency
Eden Bridge House
Lowther Street
Carlisle
Cumbria
CA3 8DX