Rosstandard’s Technical Committee 226 publicly discusses the changes in GOST 34397-2018 about naming the products made of farm animal meat and poultry. This will confuse the manufacturers who bypass the existing requirements by selling products made of mechanically deboned poultry under the famous names like “Doktorskaya”, “Lubitelskaya” and “Moskovskaya”, not violating the labelling rules however.
Mihail Trifonov, Committee Representative and intellectual property expert in the “Gorbatov” Food Systems Federal Research Center explains this confusing situation with the meat product naming. From this interview you will learn about the forthcoming changes in the poultry processing sector, protected names and the predicted trends in Product Specifications and Corporate Standards.
What changes are expected?
Currently, the discussion is focused on the poultry products. They can be made by poultry processing companies that follow the requirements of the Technical Regulation of the Customs Union on the safety of poultry and poultry processed products (TR ЕАES 051/2021), as well as the National Poultry Product Standard (GOST R 55499-2013). There are also other companies – meat-processing plants that purchase raw poultry and add it to their meat products. The meat-processing plants, on the other hand, must follow the requirements of the Technical Regulation of the Customs Union on the safety of meat and meat products (TR CU 034/2013), Meat Product Interstate Standard (GOST 34159-2017) and the Interstate Standard of assessment of identity and similarity of meat products (GOST 34397-2018). The latter became the tripping stone for the manufacturers because, as per GOST, meat products must be made of red meat, while in reality they are made of low quality raw poultry.
Does this mean that we are not talking about the entire poultry processing industry?
That’s right. These changes don’t affect poultry products. However, they will limit the poultry product output under GOST names for red meat. There are 42 recipes in the list, including “Doktorskaya”, “Lubitelskaya” and “Russkaya”.
What will be changed in GOST 34397-2018?
This is a paradoxical situation. The GOST names for meat products made per Product Specifications and Corporate Standards, and falling within the scope of the Technical Regulation 034 cannot be used. However, poultry products made per Product Specifications and Corporate Standards which don’t fall within the scope of that Regulation can be labelled by GOST names. This is exactly what we want to fix. GOST 34397-2018 includes poultry product name assessment.
Nevertheless, cooked sausages represent one-third of the meat market. Should we expect a “coup”?
There is nothing to worry about. There is a long transitional period, which is seen in the introduction schedule of the Technical Regulation 034. Sausages have been made of poultry before, but we haven’t been able to change this situation. “Gorbatov” Food Systems Federal Research Center and Rosstandard’s Technical Committee 226 for many years promoted the “meat” Regulation, while the “poultry” Regulation appeared 10 years after that, and it’s hard to promote it.
So, “Doktorskaya” chicken sausage is fake?
Per the current edition of GOST 34397-2018 it’s not. Technically, there is a Competition Act that says that consumers must not be misled. A chicken sausage named “Doktorskaya” is misleading for consumers, but this is not controlled by the supervisory authorities in any way. The only solution is to stop the production of “Doktorskaya” chicken sausage and make the necessary changes in GOST. This way, any deviation from the recipe will be considered a violation of the labelling controlled by the Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare.
What are the risks if a manufacturer ignores these changes in GOST?
Firstly, the companies will refuse using GOST names for products that are not produced according to GOST: the retail chains won’t accept those products because they are not ready to pay a fine of 300,000 roubles for each violation, and all batches will be rejected by “Mercury”. Secondly, if the manufacturer sells these products through their own trading companies, the Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare may see that the manufacturer sells their products with incorrect labelling. Then “Mercury” can check it and impose a fine for each violation for the last three years (from the entry of GOST into force).
Meat Product Names Protected by GOST 34397–2018
National Recipes: Altayskiy, Armavirskiy, Belorusskiy, Braunshweigskiy, Buryatskiy, Vengerkiy, Voronezhskiy, Krakovskiy, Krasnodarskiy, Lvovskiy, Maykopskiy, Moskovskiy, Odesskiy, Poltavskiy, Polskiy, Rossiyskiy, Rostovskiy, Russkiy, Tallinskiy, Tambovskiy, Tatarskiy, Ukrainskiy, Estonskiy.
Hematogenous, Urban, Delicacy, For Breakfast, Doktorskiy, Diabetic, Custom, Luncheon, Caloric, Lubitelskiy, Luxury, Common, Extraordinary, Special, Separate, Spicy, Lunchroom, Traditional, Tea.
There are thousands of sausage names.
Indeed, there are thousands of cooked sausage recipes. GOST 34397–2018 doesn’t include the names that are protected by trademarks. The trademark (Rospatent) and GOST (Rosstandard) are like parallel units. When there is doubt, the manufacturers and retail chains receive a report from technical specialists, for example the “Shkolnaya” and “Sovetskaya” sausage. As you see, they are not in the list, but there is a phenomenon of historical continuity. This may happen also to the notorious “Moskvoretskaya” sausage, but it didn’t make this list because the Eurasian patent system found a trademark.
Is GOST adaptive to the other industries?
The assessment of name identity and similarity is a universal tool. However, there are no legal grounds to use it in other industries. The dairy products don’t have made-up names. The brands of the manufacturers are used instead, for example “Green Village” or “Happy Milkman” for such products as milk, sour cream or cottage cheese. Those products are produced using the same technologies and rules, and they don’t need any additional made-up names. Most of the made-up names in the confectionery industry are trademarks, and the “patent wars” are long gone. The market is stabilized, and there is no need in the assessment of the identity.
What will change after the approval of the changes in GOST?
We expect that the number of “Doktorskaya” and “Lubitelskaya” sausages and other meat products that don’t meet the GOST requirements will decrease. This is similar to 2022, after the launch of the Technical Regulation 034. The volume of the products made of low quality red meat was significantly reduced, the number of counterfeit products decreased, however, the products with names similar to the GOST names didn’t disappear. Visually for the consumer, a cooked sausage made of poultry named “Doktorskaya” may not be different from the GOST products with the same name.
According to article 15.12 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses
The penalties for violation of the requirements stated in paragraph 107 of the Customs Union Technical Regulation on the Safety of Meat and Meat Products for manufacturers and retail chains are up to 300,000 roubles.
Will the retail chains also require a clean label?
Of course. There are penalties for any labelling violation by a manufacturer or by a retail chain. The sanctions for the violation of the requirements are up to 300,000 roubles.
The retail chains demand a clean label from the suppliers: firstly, it must not violate the requirements of the technical regulations, and secondly, it must not be a third party trademark. Within the Further Vocational Education Program on the identity and similarity assessment related to the poultry processing industry per GOST 34397-2018, the Food Systems Federal Research Center will address the needs of the retail chains that make decisions about the procurement of products. We provide training for employees of such retail chains as “Magnit”, “Pyatiorochka” and “Ashan” who asked us to explain certain requirements of GOST.
The interview is taken by Aliona Zhukovskaya, Strategic and Product Marketing Expert at the “Gorbatov” Food Systems Federal Research Center.