Below is a briefing note ahead of the Parliamentary debate on country of origin labelling (Julian Sturdy, Conservatives, York Outer) on Tuesday 14 March at 11:00-11:30am.
There is wide spread support for British farming amongst consumers at home and abroad. However, British farmers will only benefit from this if food labelling is clear and not misleading, giving consumers the ability and confidence to ‘buy British’. Food labelling is not just important for farmers and producers, but the wider rural economy including the important tourist sector.
Being part of the Single Market means the law in this area has been determined largely by the EU. Improvements have been made by the EU Commission but these have not gone far enough. The UK Government should use the opportunity of leaving the EU to develop a comprehensive food labelling policy, including the extension of mandatory country of origin labelling.