British Agriculture and Food Labelling

Part of Opposition Day — [6th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 7:37 pm on 24th February 2009.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 7:37 pm, 24th February 2009

I note that the hon. Gentleman's judgment about whether the motion is worth while did not stop him from making one of his customary interventions. I will turn to the issue of food security, but the two issues are, in fact, linked. If we have rules that effectively discriminate against British farmers, that affects our ability to produce more from our own resources. That is an important link.

I fundamentally disagree that the issue is not important. Not only is it important for consumer confidence in food; it is extremely important for the interests of British producers, who have suffered a great deal. That is particularly true of pigmeat producers, who have suffered declining sales in recent years because the public are, frankly, being duped into believing that they are buying British when they are not. There has been a strong public response to the campaigning on the issue by people such as Jamie Oliver and others. The hon. Gentleman would find that there is public interest in the issue not just in rural areas, but across the country. I therefore do not accept that it is not important.

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