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Tuesday, 13 January 2004

LABELLING CONTROVERSY MADE IN THE EU

The Times reports that the EU plans to scrap the “Made in Britain” label in favour of a “Made in the EU” label that will be applied to all goods manufactured within the European Union. The plan is that this will challenge the “Made in the USA” and “Made in Japan” mega-labels and will enhance the EU’s image abroad. However, UK business and even the UK Government is none too happy about the proposal. Tom Blackett, Deputy Director of Interbrand, has said that the mark is meaningless to consumers while John Cridland, the Deputy Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, has said: “The move would only obscure where products have come from at a time when consumers are asking for more information, not less”. Italy and Greece are pushing for a compromise solution which would allow Member States to use the “Made in the EU” label together with a label indicating the precise country of origin.

The IPKat thinks it’s strange that, in a time when the EU is putting so much effort into promoting precise indicators of geographical origin in the form of geographical indications and trying to build reputations around those indicators, it is also arguing for a pan-European indication of source which will be of limited informational value.

Made in Britain here and here
Maid in Britain here, here and here
Made in the USA here

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