Food: Labelling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th July 2020.

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Photo of Anthony Mangnall Anthony Mangnall Conservative, Totnes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on best practice for food labelling schemes for the provision of information on animal welfare standards.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

During the recent Finnish EU Council presidency, we responded to a questionnaire on the issue of a pan-European animal welfare label sent to all Member States’ Chief Veterinary Officers. Voluntary animal welfare labelling systems that had already been established in some countries had been well received by consumers and enabled consumers to base their purchasing decisions on compliance with animal-welfare criteria. The Council concluded that, at the same time, animal welfare labels had opened up a market to producers for products produced to higher animal welfare standards.

We already have some of the highest welfare standards in the world, as well as a number of voluntary labelling schemes which provide assurances as to the welfare of the animals. The Government has committed to a serious and rapid examination of what can be done through labelling, to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK market, and to consult on this.

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