Call for Europe to adopt clearer food labelling

27-11-2009 | |

NFU Scotland has called on the European Parliament to give all Scottish, British and EU consumers clear and concise country of origin labelling (COOL) on their food.

The call was made with other UK farming unions ahead of debates on the food labelling legislation taking place in Brussels on Tuesday, 1 December.

In a briefing sent to all MEPs, the Unions insist that it is in the interests of consumers, retailers, processors and producers that labelling leaves no party in any doubt as to where in the world all their fresh and processed food originates from.

NFU Scotland CEO, James Withers: “When a consumer is choosing what food to put in their shopping basket, they deserve clear and concise information on the label to allow them to make an informed choice. While we would hope that they would choose to buy Scottish or British as a first choice, they have the right to make their shopping choices based on the fullest of information,” he said.

The reality is that, all too frequently, consumers will struggle to identify from the label where a product has come from. Current guidelines on food labelling are not working and require to be tightened up. Many processors and retailers play on loopholes that allow them simply to identify the place of processing as the country of origin. Saying something is processed or packed in the UK is no guarantee that it was also produced in the UK,” Withers continues.

“COOL is already a requirement on many foods such as beef, eggs, fruit and vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil and, from next year, EU organic products.©© Consumers should be given consistency in labelling across all sectors.©© COOL must be rolled out to cover all other fresh produce as well as to the main ingredients of processed food,” he added.

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