meat_counterThe Countryside Alliance has welcomed the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Elliott Review, commissioned after the horsemeat scandal, which will institute a Food Crime Unit to increase consumer confidence in food. We are interested to see how the recommendations work in practice and are using our own Rural Manifesto, to be launched before the General Election in 2015, to call for clearer country of origin labelling. 

The report by Professor Chris Elliott, Professor of Food Safety and Director of the Institute for Global Food security at Queen’s University Belfast, was asked by the Secretaries of State for Defra and Health to carry out this review. The review is of Britain’s food supply chain in the light of the recent horse meat incident in 2013.

Recommendations in the report include:
• A Food Crime Unit that will coordinate investigations to ensure integrity of the food supply network
• Improving coordination across government to protect food integrity
• Giving top priority to the needs of consumers in relation to food safety
• Zero tolerance on food fraud, including the reporting food crime

The Countryside Alliance’s own Rural Manifesto, which will be launched at Party Conferences, contains a section on food and farming which echoes this report in demanding clarity on labelling. Mandatory country of origin labelling will benefit consumer choice and will also benefit our hard working farmers and producers.

Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner commented: “Consumer confidence alongside protection and support for our food producers is paramount. This report is good in that it seeks to ensure that consumers can make choices with confidence and protection to ensure the horsemeat scandal cannot happen again. The Countryside Alliance has long called for clear country of origin labelling on food containing meat to protect consumers but also to promote our hard working farmers. We have some of the greatest food in the world and we will continue to promote British produce, adequately labelled, as a top choice for consumers.

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Notes to editors:

• For the report in full click here.