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Food Labelling

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

12. What recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues and representatives of the devolved Administrations on country-of-origin food labelling. (305586)

As I said earlier, I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and the Food Standards Agency to ensure that we have tighter, clearer and more accurate origin labelling. I have had no discussions with the devolved Administrations.

The labelling arrangements as they stand facilitate not only the potential deception of consumers, but the theft of good will built up by generations of Welsh farmers who produce, for example, Welsh lamb. Does the Minister understand how dismayed those farmers will be when they hear of his rather lame response to the points put to him by my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert)—that this Government have stood in the way of attempts to change those labelling regulations?

No—as I said a moment ago, we are doing everything we can to protect British produce. I also mentioned that we are celebrating Cornish sardines becoming an EU-protected food name later today. There are 39 other products, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will come to New Covent Garden to see them and celebrate with us.