French President François Hollande has called for greater traceability for the meat used in ready-made meals.
Hollande made the comments as he visited the annual agricultural fair in Paris – an event showcasing French culinary traditions.
The president wants EU member states to agree on legislation that would prevent a recurrence of the recent horsemeat scandal.
“There have been some doubts, perhaps even some fraud, because there were no labels. I want mandatory labelling on meat that is integrated in ready-meals,” Hollande said.
Whilst some French companies have been caught up in the scandal, such as frozen food firm Findus and meat-processors Spanghero, the outcry may have actually helped the meat industry.
“For the moment, this crisis hasn’t had much impact on the meat sector. It might even have had a positive impact. That is to say, customers are coming back to cooking the products for themselves,” said Yves Berger, Director-General of Interbev, a national association of organisations representing livestock and meat.
“So, paradoxically, we have noticed a slight rise in meat sales, including for horse meat,” Berger added.
Demand for horse has gone up by an estimated 15 percent.
Nevertheless, for those who want to be sure their beef is genuine, Hollande says he will encourage French companies to use voluntary schemes to improve labelling.