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NFU says shoppers in Ely and Cambridgeshire need 'clear' and 'unambiguous' country-of-origin food labelling

Author: Farminguk Published: 13th September 2017 15:49

 Supermarket food

NFU says shoppers in Ely and Cambridgeshire need 'clear' and 'unambiguous' country-of-origin food labelling

Clear country of origin labelling has "never been so important", the Deputy President of the NFU said.

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters will tell an influential Westminster audience that it's essential for shoppers to have "clear" and "unambiguous" country-of-origin labelling on food packaging.

Mrs Batters will be among the keynote speakers at a conference looking at the next steps for UK food labelling policy and opportunities post-Brexit.

The Westminster Forum in central London yesterday (12 September) is taking place in the context of uncertainty over the future for domestic food labelling policy once the UK leaves the EU.

The Deputy President said: "With Brexit on the horizon clear country of origin labelling has never been so important. We know more British people want more British food on their plates.

"A recent survey found 64% of shoppers say they ‘always' or ‘occasionally' look out for British produce so it is vital customers know what they are purchasing.

"It is clear that some retailers and manufacturers feel origin is important by going above what is required in law and through voluntary principles. However the inconsistency of voluntary commitment can sometimes be the source of confusion among shoppers."

At the British Science Festival, Mrs Batters told an event that Brexit also offers the Government the opportunity to back British farming and improve the country's food sustainability.

Online labelling

According to a YouGov survey, 81% of UK adults think that online food retailers should provide the same amount of information about the product's country of origin on the website as there is on the food packaging in store.

Mrs Batters continued: "We also believe that it is good practice for retailers selling online to identify British products on the listing page with a British flag, which makes British products easily identifiable. A British ‘filter button would give online shoppers the ability to easily choose British products.

"The importance of our protected food names - under PGI and PDO status - is also crucial for protecting and promoting our iconic food provenance; foods such as Stilton, West Country farmhouse cheddar, Welsh beef and Welsh lamb, when potentially we could have more imported product coming onto our market, particularly in meat and milk processed products.

"I am proud to be a British farmer and I want this articulated at the shelf edge so consumers can make an informed choice to the food they are buying."

The UK farming industry has united to support Red Tractor Week this week as a campaign dedicated to promoting British food gets underway.







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