Empowering Consumers Through Transparent Food Labelling

The UK launches a consultation to improve food labelling, offering consumers clearer insights into origin and production methods, supporting British farmers, and empowering consumer choices.

Empowering Consumers Through Transparent Food Labelling

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has unveiled ambitious plans to revolutionize food labelling in the UK, promising consumers greater clarity regarding food origins and production methods. These proposals aim to empower shoppers, allowing them to make informed decisions that align with their values while championing the efforts of British farmers.

The heart of the consultation lies in enhancing country-of-origin labelling for select goods. Efforts will focus on improving the visibility and accessibility of this information, as well as determining the scope of products to be included. For example, in instances where imported pork undergoes processing in the UK to become bacon, measures such as enlarging the country-of-origin text or prominently displaying it on packaging will be explored to ensure consumers are well-informed about the product's origin.

Moreover, the consultation proposes the implementation of mandatory 'method of production' labelling for key items such as pork, chicken, and eggs. This labelling system will feature a five-tier rating, indicating the degree of compliance with UK animal welfare standards. It will distinguish between products that fall below, meet, or exceed baseline regulations, providing consumers with valuable insights into the ethical practices behind their food choices.

The significance of fair and transparent labelling cannot be overstated, particularly in bolstering the UK economy. With British farmers already responsible for 60% of the nation's food supply, the agricultural and seafood sectors collectively contribute over £120 billion annually and employ more than 4 million people. By prioritizing fair labelling practices, the UK reaffirms its commitment to supporting domestic producers and ensuring a sustainable food ecosystem.

Furthermore, the consultation seeks public input on whether the disclosure of meat, seafood, and dairy origins should be mandatory in dining establishments outside the home, such as restaurants. This initiative aims to provide consumers with consistent access to vital information, whether they are dining out or preparing meals at home.

In essence, the UK's push for transparent food labelling represents a pivotal step towards empowering consumers, promoting ethical consumption, and championing the contributions of British farmers to the nation's food security and economy.


Keywords

food labelling , consumer empowerment , British farmers , origin disclosure , United Kingdom

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