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Farron renews calls for "fair and honest" labelling of meat

May 21, 2008 3:00 PM

Liberal Democrat MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming Tim Farron has today renewed calls for the Government to enforce "fair and honest" labelling of meat. As it currently stands, livestock can be bred and reared abroad, but labelled as British once it has been processed and packaged in Britain. This causes numerous problems, not least of which is the mistaken belief that consumers are getting the same high quality product that the 'British' label suggests.

As part of his campaign to stand up for hard-working farmers, Mr Farron has been in contact with the 'big four' supermarkets - Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons - to try and increase their sourcing of meat from Britain. Over the course of their communication, the supermarkets showed great willingness to label only British meat as British, and yet the Government still refuses to take action to ban the practice of foreign meat being labelled as British.

Commenting, Mr Farron said:

"All we are calling for is fair and honest labelling so that consumers get a fair deal and British farmers benefit from increased business. I was very surprised by the attitude of the big supermarkets, in that they show a great willingness towards labelling British meat as British - yet the Government still refuses to act. I would be surprised if this willingness was not repeated across the board, but we can not expect business to buy more expensive meat here when they can buy a cheaper product elsewhere and repackage it if their competitors are not enforced to do the same. This would be bad for their business, as their competitors false claims would allow them to undercut their rivals and minimise the effect of an ethical policy.

"For this reason the Government must intervene to create a level playing field for business. Only then will we see honest labelling of meat which allows consumers to make an informed choice, and stand up for British farmers, better animal welfare and less cost to the environment."