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 happen to agree with the hon. Gentleman's support for an ombudsman. Last week at the National Farmers Union conference, I said that our major supermarkets needed to treat British producers with more respect, and that proposal would be one way to make that happen. However, I do not see the direct link, which the hon. Gentleman sought to draw, between that proposal and transparency. A sensible scheme for transparency will require the supermarkets to participate. Indeed, I will make the case that a voluntary scheme has not proven possible because of the unwillingness of the major supermarkets to participate. That is why a compulsory scheme is, I regret to say, now necessary.

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