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New Rule To Settle Tender Feelings

  • June 13th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

catle-in-field-small.jpgA small dust-up over the age of calves being slaughtered for the restaurant and retail trade has resulted in action to control the market for veal – a sought-after product in epicurean circles.

European Agriculture Ministers announced after meeting in Brussels (11.6.07) they would “clarify the marketing conditions for bovine animals aged twelve months or less.”

New rules will require member governments of the EU to use fixed sales descriptions for the product showing the age category of the animals at slaughter.

The aim was to “help consumers recognise precisely what they are buying”, and follows both consultations with consumers on what they understand by the term “veal”, and requests from the trade and some member states for clearer rules governing production.

The Ministers said the change – a victory for more gourmet-inclined cultures among them — would enhance the functioning of the European single market.

Good cooks in Europe put high store on the quality of veal, understandably enough considering prices.

In Brussels supermarkets this week (11.6.07), the best tender veal – fillet pur de veau – was selling for €32.72 per kg (A$51.74,; veal roast at €21.40 (A$33.84); steaks or scaloppine €19.55-23.17 (A$31 – 36.6); humble shanks €17.95 kg (A$28.38).

(Pork at the other end of the meat scale is far more modestly priced in the EU, chops at €7 – 9.10 –A$ 11 – 14.23 per kg.).

Those good cooks transposed to other countries like Australia, and judging from this week’s complaints to some not-so-particular European countries also, have acquired a name for using pork as a veal substitute because it might be more tender; they have had the idea the local veal is really beef – slaughtered too old, too tough to qualify.