Food: Labelling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 8 March 2024.

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Photo of Alyn Smith Alyn Smith Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (EU Accession)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to improve food labelling so that (a) consumers are effectively informed on which products have been produced (i) locally and (ii) in the UK and (b) local products are not undercut by external competition which is not produced to the same standard.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Country of origin information is required for fresh and frozen meat derived from beef cattle, sheep, goat, pigs and poultry, as well as uncut fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, olive oil, wine and some fish products. It is also required for all prepacked food where its omission would be misleading to consumers. In any case, where an indication of origin or provenance is given, either in words or pictures, this must be accurate. Buying food locally and supporting their local food economy is important to many consumers and where any label indicates that a food is produced locally, this must not be misleading to a consumer.

As recently announced by the Secretary of State, we will soon be launching a consultation on clearer food labelling. This will explore how we can better highlight imports that do not meet UK welfare standards. The consultation will also seek evidence and views on how origin information could be improved for consumers.

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