Meat: Imports

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 26 April 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that imported meat (a) is correctly labelled to show country of origin and (b) has been produced to the standards required of domestic food producers.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(a) Food Information to Consumers Regulations apply to all food sold on the UK market, including imported food, and require many foods to declare the origin on the label. This includes where the consumer would be misled if it were not given, and always for specific foods such as beef, veal, lamb, mutton, pork, goat, and poultry. Additionally, there are rules that help prevent the consumer from being misled about the origin of the primary ingredient of the food, although the majority of meat products sold at retail voluntarily provide the origin of the meat ingredients. The Government is committed to optimising the information that is available to consumers, including country of origin, so that they can make informed choices. We are actively working to improve labelling.

(b) Retained legislation is in place to ensure the safety of meat and meat products from both domestic production and imported products. All imported meat and meat products are required to come from countries that have been approved as ensuring compliance with these food hygiene requirements and, specifically, from establishments that are approved and listed for export to the UK. Part of this approval is that the countries have an agreed plan to limit the use of, and residues from, veterinary medicines.

The Government has committed to consult on what can be done through labelling to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK market. To this end, we recently ran a call for evidence to assess the potential impacts of different types of animal welfare labelling reform, including how this might apply to imported products as well as domestic products. We will publish a summary of responses and our proposed next steps in due course.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.