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FACTFILE: Details of origins of raw meat displayed on the packaging
The packaging or shrinkwrap of joints of raw meat should always state the country of origin clearly. In the case of Finnish produce, the text is usually found withing the Swan logo.
In the case of cooked meats, it is not obligatory to state the origins, but the name of the producer must be given if omitting the name might mislead the consumer.
Finns tend to prefer to bake their hams themselves; ready-cooked hams accounted for only 12% of all sales last year.
The numerical codes are there for product safety reasons.
It is required to list the last date of sale and the date when the ham was packaged, from which the slaughterhouse can ascertain with reasonable accuracy the farm where the meat came from.
On the other hand it is not necessary to tell the consumer exactly which pig farm supplied the meat.
At Christmas 2004, a total of 6.7 million kilos of ham were sold, with 6.6% being imported. Danish hams were in the ascendancy here.
The total for Turkey was roughly 360,000 kilos, with 10% coming from abroad. The major country of origin in this case was Germany.
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 14.12.2005