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Agricultural Products

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Karen Lumley Karen Lumley Conservative, Redditch

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to encourage UK businesses to buy agricultural products produced in the UK.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government are supportive of a competitive agricultural industry, and DEFRA’s first business plan commitment is to ‘support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production'. This is embedded in much of the work that the Department carries out.

Within Government we have introduced new guidance on sustainable food procurement so that Government Departments source food, subject to no overall increase in costs, that meets British or equivalent standards of production—for example ‘Red Tractor'.

We have also encouraged the voluntary code for the labelling of certain products with the true country of origin and supported the EU food information regulation, which makes country of origin labelling mandatory for fresh meat. EU rules prevent the Government from promoting “Buy British” campaigns, however the Levy Boards do carry out promotional campaigns on behalf of UK producers.

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