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Food: Labelling

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 23396, tabled on 28 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to introduce food labelling that specifies the (a) method of production and (b) country of origin for all raw and processed food.

Answered on

1 July 2021

Country of origin information is required for all prepacked food where its omission would be misleading to consumers, and is required for fresh and frozen meat of beef, sheep, goat, pigs and poultry, as well as for uncut fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, olive oil and wine. For processed food, where the origin of the primary ingredient is different to that of the food itself and the origin of the food is given, an indication that the origin of the primary ingredient is different or the specific origin must also be provided. In any case, where an indication, in words of pictures, of origin or provenance is given this must be accurate.

For method of production, an indication must be provided on shell eggs when sold as such and in the case of poultry, where it is stated must meet strict criteria. For other species and for dairy products, any claims around method of production either in words or pictures must not be misleading.

We have the opportunity to review food labelling now we are no longer bound by EU rules to ensure information supports UK consumers' food choices and the marketing of quality British food products. This review will be made in the context of the government’s food strategy white paper which will be published following Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the food system later this year.

The Government has further committed to consult on what can be done through labelling to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK. There will be a call for evidence launched this summer which will look to address evidence gaps on the impact, costs and deliverability on different types of labelling reforms. This, alongside Henry Dimbleby’s review, will inform a full consultation later this year which will seek stakeholder and public views on how welfare information should be presented to consumers.

Named day
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