Denmark flag should not appear on food products sourced from abroad, says minister

Mogens Jensen, Danish minister for food, fisheries, gender equality and Nordic cooperation, has asked the country’s Veterinary and Food Administration to end the commercial practice of pasting the Danish flag (Dannebrog) on packs of food products whose ingredients actually come from abroad.

Currently, Danish companies can legally buy honey from countries outside the European Union (EU), then label the product with “Danish produced” and a Danish flag.

According to a ministry press release, Jensen sought to change the previous interpretation of EU rules so that domestic consumers would not be misled.

In addition, the Veterinary and Food Administration has been asked to look into whether there are problems in relation to other food products, which primarily consist of one ingredient from abroad.

“The flag logo should not be able to decorate foods that have nothing to do with Denmark,” said the minister.

Termed a service inspection of the rules, the Danish food agency would assess what national labeling requirements Denmark might impose on food manufacturers who collected raw materials outside Denmark, without being in conflict with EU rules.

“In Sweden, they have a guide on how companies can properly label their products. I have asked the Danish Food Agency to work on this model,” said Jensen.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration expects the new guidance to be ready by the end of 2019.