Marking the country of origin

  • Food and beverage products
  • Ordering solution


Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Contract Terms

Main Objective: 

The main purpose is to provide information about the country of origin. This information may be used when following up the requirement for socially responsible products.

Requirement Specification: 

The ordering solution shall include marking the country of origin whenever possible.  The marking shall be clearly displayed in the ordering solution that is used, whether it is the supplier’s ordering portal or the contracting authority's electronic trading platform. The contractual condition shall be documented as fulfilled no later than three months after start-up.

Additional information

Origin marking is voluntary for most food products, but compulsory for some food groups and products, including:

  • Animal products: Animal products shall be marked with the country in which the product is produced in its entirety. For meat, this means the country in which the animal has been born, bred and slaughtered, cf. Section 1 a of the Food Information Regulation, EU 1337/2013. For beef, Chapter VII of the Regulations on the traceability and marking of cattle and beef, etc. also apply.
  • For honey originating from more than one EU country, or from more than one third-party country, the marking may be replaced by a “mixture of honey from the EU”, “mixture of honey from non-EU countries”, “mixture of honey from countries inside and outside the EU, cf. Section 4 of the Regulations on Honey.
  • Fish: Ocean-caught fish shall be marked with the catch area, such as the Baltic Sea, North-East Atlantic. For fish caught in fresh water or from fish farming, the country of origin shall be stated, cf. Section 35 of the Regulations on the quality of fish and fish products
  • Fresh fruit, berries, vegetables and potatoes: shall be marked with the country of origin cf. Section 3 of the Food Information Regulations.

Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

Suppliers shall document that the requirement has been fulfilled by providing a description of how the marking will be carried out in the customer's electronic ordering system and whether the product, delivery note, etc. will also be marked.

When using the EHF directory, country of origin must be labeled according to the format. 

When using the supplier's ordering system, the supplier must state how country of origin will be highlighted in the system. 

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

The country of origin is one of the factors that can indicate whether the product you are procuring is a high-risk product, i.e. a product where there is a particularly high probability of violating fundamental human and labour rights in the production process. Several food products are produced under conditions where there is a risk that such rights will be violated. Information about the country of origin is therefore important to have when you need to follow up on certain products in the agreed product range. Information about the origin also indicates what environmental and animal welfare standards apply to the production of the product.

Origin marking is voluntary for most food products, but mandatory for some food groups and products. In some cases, the producers may wish to mark the product with the origin, even if it is not a requirement in accordance with the regulations. The producer is then responsible for the accuracy of the information and that the information is not misleading. If it may be misleading to omit the origin information, the product shall be marked with the origin. There are a number of special rules about the origin marking of beef, fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goat and poultry, fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and honey in the EU/EEA area. The requirements are stated in the provisions of the Food Information Regulation (

Contracting authorities with their own electronic trading platform:

If the contracting authority uses its own electronic trading platform, the requirement can be combined with the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment’s (Difi's) EHF catalogue goal. Relevant fields that suppliers should fill in include the “country of origin (country code)” and “name of the producer”.

Agency for Public Management and eGovernment’s (Difi's) risk management tool:

To facilitate the contract follow-up of the requirements for social responsibility, Difi has developed a risk management tool. The country of origin is one of the factors assessed here, among other things. The tool is located on Difi’s website.

Published: 18. Mar 2019, Last modified: 31. May 2019