Skip to main content

Food: Marketing

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to require more accurate information on the country of origin to be displayed on food products; and if he will make a statement. (325279)

I have been asked to reply.

Origin labelling is required on certain foods and in cases where not to inform the consumer of origin may mislead them. In cases where voluntary origin information is provided this must be accurate and the Food Standards Agency has had best practice guidance in place since 2002 recommending labelling formats that are meaningful to consumers.

The Government have been encouraging even greater clarity, an example of which is the new voluntary industry Code of Practice on the labelling of pork and pork products which resulted from the Government's Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force - a supply chain-wide group, facilitated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In addition, origin labelling rules are being discussed in the European Union as part of a proposal for a new Food Information Regulation. The Government are pressing in these discussions for greater clarity of information when origin claims are made.