Quality, from a technical point of view, is a concept associated to many fields and requests that products must meet in order to be pursuant to the specifications and to satisfy consumers’ expectations. The European Union protects food quality in many ways: through measures that increase products safety and hygiene, through labeling rules, regulations regarding the health of plants and animals and animal welfare, pesticide residues and food additives control through nutritional information and other regulations. The European Union’s approach includes monitoring and control strict systems, in order to ensure the effective function of the Unique European Market. The EU legislation stipulates strict requests that guarantee standards for all the European products. Furthermore, the European quality schemes identify the products and the food cultivated and prepared with exact specifications.
The objective of European Union on food safety is to protect consumers’ health and interests simultaneously with ensuring a good function for the unique market. To that end, EU elaborates and monitors observance of the control standards on food and products hygiene, animals’ health and welfare, phytosanitary aspects and prevention the risk of contamination with substances from the exterior. Likewise, EU sets standards for food proper labeling. The policy on food safety was reformed at the beginning of 2000, according to the approach “from the farm to the consumer” thus guaranteeing a high safety level for all the food sold in EU, during all the stages of the production and distribution chain. This approach refers at food produced in the EU and also at imported from third countries. The European Union, as producer and major aliments importer, signed agreements and adhered at various international structures that offer assistance in order to set safety and quality standards for aliments and food products including Codex Alimentarius and National Office of Epizootics. The legal framework of the Union (European Acquis) for food safety is adopted by the countries that adhere at the European Union in the chapter that refers to agricultural and consumers’ protection policies.
THE IMAGE OF EUROPEAN PRODUCTS
As a result of implementing control and strict monitor on quality and safety standards the products made in European Union are appreciated both in the European space and worldwide, because their production under the European Union’s flag is quality guaranteed. The European Union defines strategic orientation for improving the communication on medium term between producers, distributors and consumers on the quality of farming products in order to harmonize the European regulations for products quality and to simplify the present system. The marketing standards guarantee the loyal competition and protect the consumer from being misled on the characteristics of the products. For the future, the European Commission plans to set basic general standards, to place information about the place of origin on the labels and possibly other additional information on the characteristics (traditionally or from the farm, for example), to contribute at developing international standards. One of the most important things about European products is the CE mark. This symbol is used by a producer to make a clear statement about product conformity. The logo must be placed on the wrapping, on the declarations of conformity and on the guarantee certificates. The CE mark has been described as a real passport for relevant products sold all across Europe.