British Agriculture and Food Labelling

Part of Opposition Day — [6th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 8:01 pm on 24th February 2009.

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Photo of Jane Kennedy Jane Kennedy Minister of State (Farming and the Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 8:01 pm, 24th February 2009

I agree with the hon. Gentleman—indeed, I agree with some of the points made by the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs—but there are points of difference, which I wish to explore and explain. I have read the Conservative proposals in detail and they form a well-written document, if I might be allowed to say so, but I have some quite stringent criticisms to make of it, which I will come to.

In meeting demand today, we must ensure that we do not destroy our ability to feed ourselves tomorrow. This is not about either environmental sustainability or production; it has to be both. The general public are becoming increasingly interested in the issue of labelling and the origin of foods, and I agree with the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs that the public should have confidence in the labelling system, so that when they make the choice to buy British, for whatever reason—if they want to support British farming, for whatever purpose—they know that they are buying British produce.

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