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Farron calls for stricter rules on meat labelling

July 1, 2011 10:22 AM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP, Tim Farron, has joined the campaign launched by the Countryside Alliance Foundation which calls for mandatory country of origin meat labelling that is honest, fair and simple.

The Countryside Alliance have launched their campaign with a report into the way British consumers are being misled by labels on the front of their meat products, ahead of a vote next Wednesday in the European Parliament on food labelling.

Research by the Countryside Alliance found that 74% of people thought that it was important that meat products they buy have a British origin and that 90 per cent of people support their proposal that a British flag or tag should only be given to meat products where the animal has been born, reared and slaughtered in Britain.

The current situation with food labelling means that the government has been unable to account for up to 70% of bacon sold in the UK last year, and with 70% of imported pork falling below the legal standards of farming set for home production, this is causing huge problem for British farmers. The proposals from the Countryside Alliance state that only meat that has been born, reared and slaughtered in the UK should be able to carry a British flag on its packaging.

Commenting today Tim said: "This is a massively important campaign that the Countryside Alliance has launched and I support it 100%. It is no secret that British farmers have been facing tough times over the past few years and therefore it is essential that we do everything we can to protect and support them.

"It is clear that the majority of people prefer to buy and eat British meat, therefore by introducing stricter labelling laws we can ensure that we not only satisfy the British consumer market, but that we also support British farming. British farming has the highest animal welfare and environmental standards in the world - buying British is therefore a shorthand for buying ethically, that's why its so important that consumers are not misled by products that claim to be British but aren't."