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Construction of beef quality through official quality signs, the example of Label Rouge

Abstract : The European Union promotes high-quality food products and protects agricultural traditions. With that vision, Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 defines quality schemes such as protected designations of origin, protected geographical indications and optional quality terms that link quality and tradition to legal labels. These quality schemes are completed by national initiatives. Label Rouge is an official regulated sign of premium quality in France that explicitly aims at higher product quality. Each Label Rouge product has to comply with production and processing conditions stated in its published specifications. Here, we analyse commitments made under Label Rouge books of specifications for beef to show how the Label Rouge quality-sign constructs quality. In order to provide a frame, product quality has been broken down into a set of seven quality attributes: commercial, organoleptic, nutritional, safety, technological, convenience and image-value, where image-value quality attributes encompass the ethical, cultural and environmental dimensions associated with how a food is produced and processed, and its origin. The specifications highlight ‘communicative certified characteristics’ (characteristics set out in the specifications that are certified and communicated to the public) and specify how the meat needs to be farmed and processed to attain superior quality. Analysis of all 16 Label Rouge books of specifications for beef, based on scientific expertise and the literature, showed that commitments in these specifications are linked to the seven groups of quality attributes and that they concern the whole continuum of the chain, from animal type to on-farm conditions, transport to slaughter and through to meat ageing. Commitments concerning the whole herd and the selection of label-eligible animals, carcasses and meat particularly enhance organoleptic and image-value attributes. Label Rouge builds quality through commitments on the production, transport and beef ageing conditions, and offers a strong referent for the beef sector on how to better meet more qualitative consumers’ expectations.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 3:28:52 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 3:42:29 AM


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Mégane Raulet, Antoine Clinquart, Sophie Prache. Construction of beef quality through official quality signs, the example of Label Rouge. Animal, Published by Elsevier (since 2021) / Cambridge University Press (until 2020), 2021, pp.100357. ⟨10.1016/j.animal.2021.100357⟩. ⟨hal-03424419⟩



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