Shoppers back British

THE GOVERNMENT continued its provenance push this week by calling for more information on food labels.

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To kick off British Food Fortnight, DEFRA secretary Elizabeth Truss said local labelling – for example showing the farm or county that the product is from – “would help consumers take pride in buying British produce”.

Truss cited “new research” – actually published back in June – showing that 79% of adults think it is “very” or “fairly important” that people in Britain buy locally-sourced produce. A more recent PRS survey showed that 89% of people checked where fresh produce came from when shopping.

In April, new EU regulations made country of origin labelling compulsory for fresh and frozen pork, poultry, meat and lamb.

In the past few weeks DEFRA has come out all guns blazing in support of British farming, promising a review of public procurement and to fight for more consistent and clearer labelling for dairy products at EU level.

The department is also consulting with industry on a new 25-year food and farming plan and will soon set up a Great British Food Unit. “Our one nation government is doing more than ever to support British farmers and producers by creating the right environment for these small businesses to flourish,” said Truss.