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Consultation on fairer food labelling is launched

A consultation was launched last week to look at ways to make food labelling fairer and clearer. This is part of an initiative looking at how to give shoppers more information about how and where the food they buy is produced, and to give the products of British farmers better recognition.

The proposals should help shoppers to make decisions that align with their values. As an example, imported pork may be cured into bacon in the UK and feature a Union Jack on the packaging. It should be obvious to consumers that the pig was reared abroad, which might be achieved by giving greater prominence to the country of origin.

A ’method of production’ labelling system is also proposed for pork, chicken, and eggs. This will help shoppers identify whether the animals were kept in conditions that fall below, meet or exceed UK animal welfare regulations.

The Environment Secretary, Steve Barclay, first announced the consultation at the Oxford Farming Conference in January. He commended British farmers for their hard work and noted: “British consumers want to buy their produce, but too often products made to lower standards abroad aren’t clearly labelled to tell them apart. That is why I want to make labelling showing where and how food is produced fairer and easier to understand – empowering consumers to make informed choices and rewarding our British farmers for producing high-quality, high-welfare food.”

The consultation is now open and will close on 7 May 2024.

Further information and the online survey can be accessed here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/transforming-farm-animal-health-and-welfare-team/consultation-on-fairer-food-labelling/

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