UK government calls for more local labelling on food

28 September 2015

Food producers should put more information about sourcing on labels as local production is a priority for consumers, the UK government has said.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has called for food producers and shops to give more information on labels about where in Britain their food comes from. It said new research showed almost 79 per cent of people saw buying local food as a top priority.

The YouGov Omnibus 2015 report, Locally Sourced Produce, conducted on behalf of East of England Co-op, found 62 per cent of people have bought locally sourced produce at some point in the last year. It said vegetables (51 per cent) and meat (40 per cent) were the product categories where people were most likely to opt for a locally sourced alternative.

Environment secretary Liz Truss said local labelling such as showing what farm or county the food is from, would help consumers take pride in buying British produce and support the UK rural economy.

Truss said that the government was doing more than ever to support British farmers and producers.

“This means supporting better country of origin labelling to ensure shoppers can get behind our British farmers and building better broadband and transport links so it’s as easy to open and expand a business in Cornwall as it is in Camden,” she said.

Earlier this month the government called for clearer labelling for dairy products at EU level, and has pushed for country of origin labelling for fresh, unprocessed goat, pork, lamb and poultry which has been required by law since April this year.

British Food Fortnight is currently running and later this year the government will also launch Great British Food, which will celebrate and promote British produce in the UK and abroad.

The Rural Productivity Plan was launched in August last year to help provide jobs and improve the quality of life for the people in rural communities.

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